Thursday, June 15, 2006

Daney's quote on Alain Tanner

I just spotted this quote by Daney on Alain Tanner's No Man's Land:

“I looked at the landscapes of No Man’s Land and was not disorientated. I felt at home. I had seen it all before in an earlier life punctuated by the nine other films of Alain Tanner (…) I even knew what it consisted of: frontier posts with a French and a Swiss side, slowmoving bicycles and tidy little cafés, ruminating cows and drawling accents, roads into the mountains and paths leading nowhere; I knew the characters, too, having seen them come and go: they were flawed and bad in ’68, then armchair idealists, then, in ’85, embittered, dissatisfied hippies, that’s all.” Then, having expressed his deep sense of familiarity with the world of the film, the critic voices a doubt: “It struck me that all the things that – thanks to Tanner and other Swiss filmmakers (Reusser, Soutter, Murer) – I had come to see as familiar, all this mildly clean, mildly sinister, mildly beautiful Swiss cinema, with its cows and its traffickers, its calculated slowness and vague storytelling, might be on the way out.”

Reference: Serge Daney, Libération, 30 August 1985, quoted in Ciné-journal, volume 2, Petite bibliothèque des Cahiers du cinéma, Paris, 1998.

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