Alain Tanner Retrospective at the Metrograph


Myriam Mézières and Jean-Luc Bideau in Alain Tanner’s “Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000.”

Citel Films

With the opening of several new repertory screens in New York City comes a welcome bonus: retrospectives of foreign filmmakers whose work animated the city’s film culture decades ago. This past spring, the Quad Cinema hosted a revival of the Italian political and sexual provocateur Lina Wertmuller. Starting Wednesday, July 12, the Metrograph mounts a rewarding slate of films from the Swiss director Alain Tanner, whose ’70s pictures delighted New York cinephiles by proving, among other things, that self-consciousness and engaging narrative weren’t mutually exclusive. “La Salamandre” (1971) is a spectacularly intriguing showcase for the actress Bulle Ogier. “The Middle of the World” (1974) is a still-pertinent study of a novice Swiss politician, a self-absorbed nativist, who falls in love with an Italian immigrant. Mr. Tanner’s work has a particular stamp of intellectual liveliness that’s all but disappeared from contemporary cinema. (

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