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Appears in Collections:eTheses from Faculty of Arts and Humanities legacy departments
Title: En route vers la terre promise : The radical film making of Alain Tanner
Author(s): Latham, Jean
Issue Date: 1986
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: A detailed analysis is presented of the five films made by the Swiss film director, Alain Tanner, during the period from 1969-76. Consideration is given to the relationship between Tanner's work and the French radical film theory of the immediate post-'68 period, and to the development by Tanner during this period of a highly individual body of film theory, which is based upon the principle of deliberately mixing avant-garde and conventional elements. The relationship also is studied between the theoretical formulations of the director and the resulting films on the screen, and a gap is shown to emerge between theory and practice, with the films exhibiting qualities underplayed by Tanner himself. An examination is undertaken of the main areas of influence that have contributed to Tanner's film practice. Firstly, a model of nineteenth century literary realism is isolated and its transmission into film via the neo-realists and the French New Wave is discussed: Tanner's complex debt to this tradition is explored. Secondly, the relationship between Tanner's work and that of Brecht is outlined. Lastly, an overview is given of the climate of structuralist thought that serves as the immediate backcloth to Tanner's film making. The study concludes with an examination of the development in Tanner's position and practice from Messidor (1978) to No man's land (1985),and includes a consideration of the relationship between these films and the earlier work. This analysis reveals a shift in focus from an insistence on radical film theory and a political discourse towards a new emphasis on the image, an exploration of physical reality, a different relation between audience and film, and a development in the trend to fable and allegory.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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