WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE ANY IDEAS LEFT, that's when you're like someone who's lost his shadow, Antonio says to Paul. Antonio thinks that Paul has ended up in that situation. Antonio is an old Andalusian communist who's returned to his country after a long period of exile in France. Paul is a journalist who's lost his job after an argument with his boss. Without telling his wife, and severely depressed, he's gotten in touch with his old friend. Anne tracks him down with the help of his ex-girlfriend Maria. Tragedy or farce? When finally Antonio disappears, Paul truly loses his shadow. Comment:ALAIN TANNER BELONGS TO THOSE DIRECTORS who appears to be recreating his own world in film after film, as if he's made one basic story which he returns to over and over. He turns and twists it, slants it, slightly - but not more than it infallibly can be recognized as his. Les anné-es-lumiére, Dans la ville blanche, No Man's Land and now, his latest film - all retell Tanner's story. It's about a person who is searching for his identity, and has arrived at a turning-point in life. Sometimes he (or she) has chosen to temporarily step off the carousel of normal circumstances in order to gain some distance to himself. It's about desire and love, about man and woman. It contains thoughts on society, politics and the present. And, there is usually a ''tutor'', a wise man who assists during the journey to insight. They're beautiful films in wonderful colors, and sometimes - like in this film - in a cinemascope format with condensed and inviting images. At the same time they're outer signs for the inner journey. Tanner returns to similar places - a town or a village by the sea, an isolated place in the middle of nature . It's border land, both metaphorically and literally. The man who lost his shadow is a man who loves everything but no longer believes in anything, who no longer believes in the world and, because of that, doesn't know why he acts. This is the case with Paul, the protagonist in this film. But the other characters appear to be infected with this disease of the times. They comment on the events as if it was a theatrical performance: they mention themselves as clowns or actors in a tragedy. The wide screen format might invite a ''fleshing out'' of the pictnre, to, like Robert Altman, use the big surface in order to insert a myriad of parallell actions. Tanner does the opposite. He empties the picture. A solitary person on the road in a deserted landscape, or on the ocean beach, is portrayed as terribly isolated, arbitrarily placed there in the middle of all the space contained in the film. That's how the room becomes what Gilles Deleuze calls espaces quelconques, any room, inviting endless wanderings. And Tanner's characters lose themselves in this room. Paul ends up sitting in the whirling dust on a road. _ ASTRID SODERBERGH WIDDING

Mannen som förlorade sin skugga
Alain Tanner
102 min
Europa idag
French, Spanish
L'homme qui a perdu son ombre
Francisco Rabal, Dominic Gould, Angela Molina
Alain Tanner, Paulo Branco, G. Herrero
Alain Tanner
Arié Dzierlatka

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