Businessmen -- Switzerland -- Drama, Hippies -- Switzerland -- Drama, Middle class -- Switzerland -- Psychological aspects -- Drama, Middle-aged men -- Switzerland -- Psychology -- Drama

Charles, Dead or Alive

(Charles, mort ou vif)

The most intelligent film inspired by the spirit of May ’68.

Lean-Louis Bory, Nouvel observateur

François Simon, Marcel Robert, Marie-Claire Dufour,

Tanner’s first feature put an almost nonexistent Swiss cinema on the international map. The story tells of Charles De, an aging conformist who suddenly drops deep out of life and emerges a madman, in other words, a man “mad” enough to accept the world only on his own uncompromising terms. Dodging detectives, he joins a miniature anarchist community in the countryside; by the time the authorities get their man, it no longer matters. Many directors can capture the significance of political thought; this nimble, witty, lucid film shows that Tanner is one of the few who can capture its joy.

  • Alain Tanner
  • Renato Berta
  • French
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 35mm
  • 94 mins

CineFiles is an online database of BAMPFA's extensive collection of documentation covering world cinema, past and present.

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The films of Alain Tanner (distributor materials), New Yorker Films, 1993

Alain Tanner: a film poet between utopia and realism (monograph), Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Christian Dimitriu, 1991

The humane politics of Alain Tanner (review), Reader (Chicago, Ill.), Dave Kehr, 1976

Charles, dead or alive (review), Filmfacts, 1972

One Swiss to go (review), Paul D. Zimmerman, 1972

Charles mort ou vif? (postcard), Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia

Charles, mort ou vif (distributor materials)

Charles - dead or alive (article)

Alain Tanner's Charles -- dead or alive (distributor materials), New Yorker Films

Charles -- dead or alive (program note)

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