Tanner's expression doesn't reach the poetical value of this sailor's wandering in a lost city. Unoriginal in this kind of Antonioni's wandering (without the same rythm), it could have been beyond a doubt a masterpiece if it didn't fall into clichés and non-interessing actions and consequences that doesn't reveal anything.
Sur un scénario original très lâche, avec juste quelques vagues comptes rendus sporadiques et d'épisodiques prises de notes délimitant un tournage au jour le jour, Tanner nous livre une œuvre limpide et désenchantée qui brasse aussi bien une lancinante désespérance existentielle qu'une impulsive joir de vivre, sur fond d'errance et d'incertitude, entre suave légèreté et intime profondeur. www.cinefiches.com
Personal filmic diary of a lost character trying to escape his own life in the city. As in my previous discovery "la salamandre", this one develops a nice road-movie tendency. Less rebellious characters, more turned to love passions. A beautiful atmosphere of simplicity and sincerity.
Smells like Malcolm Lowry. A wonderfully masochistic existential downward spiral of a lost soul, leading somewhere between an alcohol induced nightmare and fantasy. The Pieter Bruegel painting briefly seen in our sailor's wife's kitchen (also featured in Tarkovsky's SOLARIS and THE MIRROR as well as von Trier's MELANCHOLIA) is synopsis; a vaguely joyous scene but overall a bleak aftermath of an unsuccessful hunt.
Swiss director Alain Tanner's 'Dans la Ville Blanche' (1983) has a uniquely weightless atmosphere as it floats through Lisbon, the white city, in search of the limits of doing nothing, and "abolishing space and time". Read my full review: www.brnrd.net/blog/archive/2012/03/25/dans-la-ville-blanche