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Born: Geneva, Switzerland, 6 December 1929.

Alain Tanner (JPG, 24 KB)

Alain Tanner, with his portraits of life among Geneva's marginal and harmless rebels, can easily be considered the director who introduced American audiences to the fact that not only bankers and diplomats live in Geneva. Influenced by his involvement with the British Free Cinema movement in London in the early 1960s and with the French New Wave during his Paris years, Tanner's films, often coscripted with the English art critic John Berger, combine a cinéma vérité documentary style and with fable-like story telling. A gentle, idiosyncratic anarchy, tinged with irony, suffuses both La Salamandre (1971) and Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000 (1976). His later films, however, have been darker, and in the case of No Man's Land, the whimsical optimism of the late 1970s has been totally reversed.


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This page was last updated on 3 September 2000.