Alison Smith
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Two directors
William Klein and Alain Tanner
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This chapter focuses on the 'French' films: Mister Freedom, Le Couple Témoin, and Grands soirs et petits matins. Mister Freedom is a film contemporary with the May events, and therefore an expression of William Klein's preoccupations at the time but not really a precursor of the 1970s. The chapter illustrates how naturalism and exploration of audiovisual language are both fundamental to Alain Tanner's narrative. Some of Tanner's films superficially resemble those of the Nouveau Naturel. Following Charles mort ou vif, the protagonists in Tanner's films are entirely peaceful in their revolt until Messidor in 1979, where the violence is ultimately pointless and leads to disaster. Charles mort ou vif immediately introduced Tanner to an international audience, and was particularly well received in France, where it was unanimously hailed as the film which everyone had been waiting for, the first to really claim the inheritance of May.

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French cinema in the 1970s

The echoes of May

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