Sunday, March 25, 2018
2 pm | @ The Chazen
SUNDAY CINEMATHEQUE AT THE CHAZEN: ALAIN TANNER
Among the last lions of the heroic age of the European art film, the Geneva-born Tanner burst onto the international cinema scene at age forty with his debut feature, 1969’s Charles, Dead or Alive, completed after stints with the merchant navy and the British Film Institute, where he became charged with the unquiet spirit of the Free Cinema movement. Back home, the fired-up Tanner would forge a radical body of work that bristles at the numbing neutrality and status quo monotony of his native country, a cinema full of rebels, outcasts, and dropouts, where the presiding mood is one of driftlessness and anxious ambivalence, and a filmography ripe for the rediscovery.
In one of the great films of the 1970s, two journalists (Bideau and Denis), contracted to write a teleplay about an “accidental” gun death, find themselves drawn into perhaps too-intimate relationships with the surviving witness/suspect: an alluring, spontaneous working-class girl, Rosemonde (the always extraordinary Ogier), who alone knows the truth of what happened. As an iron will towards liberation lies behind Rosemonde’s fresh-faced prettiness, so a serious meditation on the pursuit of truth through fiction dwells behind the playful eroticism on the surface of Tanner’s film.