On the 100th anniversary of the founding of a watchmaking company in Geneva, Charles Dé the founder’s 50-year-old grandson has had it: he speaks eccentrically to a reporter, recognizing his grandfather as a craftsman and his son as a businessman, but is evasive about himself. He gives his family the slip and moves in with a young couple he meets by chance, doing the cooking, reading, drinking, and engaging in philosophical discussions with them. The young couple comes to love Charles. In secret, he stays in touch with a daughter, and the rest of the family hires a private investigator to find him, setting in motion a business take-over that threatens his Bohemian happiness.
Tag Archives: Alain Tanner
Dans la ville blanche / In the White City (1983) Alain Tanner, Bruno Ganz, Teresa Madruga, Julia Vonderlinn, Drama
A Swiss sailor jumps ship in Lisbon, tired of the noisy engine room, the ship “a floating factory of crazy people.” He rents a room and does little. He writes letters to his lover, describing the whiteness of the city, the solitude and the silence. He sends his love and emptiness; she replies with love and confusion. He sends movies from his 8mm camera. Then he becomes friendly with Rosa, a chambermaid, and soon it’s a love affair. He continues to send letters and movies home. His Swiss lover is hurt and angry; she sends an ultimatum.
Le journal de Lady M / The Diary of Lady M (1992) Alain Tanner, Myriam Mézières, Juanjo Puigcorbé, Félicité Wouassi, Drama, Erotic
She’s a beautiful gifted performer, but her work is not the sort that invites popular acclaim. Despite the fact that she is unlikely to become famous, she enjoys her life as a performer who lives just outside the mainstream. Awaiting her backstage one evening is a Spanish painter who has seen her show and wants to make her acquaintance. They walk around Paris getting to know one another, and then the painter returns to Spain. Something about the man has moved Lady M to passion: she flies to meet him in Barcelona and he shows her his beloved Catalonia. This time, however, their relationship is as much about passionate lovemaking as it is about compatibility. So smitten is Lady M with her new man that when she discovers that the painter has a black wife and child, she is only a little bit taken aback and she invites his whole family to join her in Paris. Surprisingly, they do, and the number of people sharing their love and sexual appetites changes from two to three.
Une flamme dans mon coeur / A Flame in My Heart (1987) Alain Tanner, Myriam Mézières, Benoît Régent, Azize Kabouche, Drama
The film relates the painful ending of a love story binding an over-30-year-old woman and a North African, and the beginning and end of a relationship she also has with an “established” journalist. The stories illustrate the absolute claim of a woman who can understand love only in terms of life and death, an attitude that generally makes love appear dramatic, but at least burning and flickering, like the flame that glows in her heart.
La femme de Rose Hill / The Woman from Rose Hill (1989) Alain Tanner, Marie Gaydu, Jean-Philippe Écoffey, Denise Péron, Drama
Julie is a young woman from Rose Hill (Mauritius) who arrives in rural Switzerland to marry her older pen-friend Marcel. She feels unhappy until she meets Jean, a younger man. However, his father disagrees.
This uneven drama concerns the efforts of an aspiring filmmaker to include an unwilling female in his production. Paul finds difficulty deciding on a location for his film and angrily throws out his script. Jean is the film student who is sent by Paul to track down Dara and recruit her for the feature. All three end up in Brooklyn, where Dara’s father believes Paul and Jean are only interested in having sex with his daughter.
Le milieu du monde / The Middle of the World (1974) Alain Tanner, Olimpia Carlisi, Philippe Léotard, Juliet Berto, Romance, Drama
Paul is married, a successful engineer, and a conservative candidate in an upcoming local election. He falls in love with Adriana, a café waitress from Italy. Paul’s party is very critical of foreign labour and wants to keep Switzerland to the Swiss. Where Paul falls deeper and deeper into the relationship and is ready to leave his wife, Adriana feels the social pressure growing and has to make her own decision.