Light Years Away

Tanner implies, with great sensitivity and insight, that true life is always an inner process of experience . . . in a film that seems to pulsate with love and care for life.

Bruno Jaeggi

Trevor Howard, Mick Ford, Odile Schmitt, Bernice Stegers,

Tanner’s first English-language work finds the director trading his native Switzerland for the windswept beauty of Ireland, and constitutes a kind of homecoming for this auteur who began his career at the British Film Institute, inspired by the Free Cinema Movement. In the year 2000, a young drifter (Mick Ford) befriends an old recluse (Trevor Howard), and together they move through a natural world that grows stranger by the day. “I looked for a setting at the end of the world,” recalled Tanner. “I went to Ireland and was seduced.” The end-of-the-world setting may be light years away from the dull claustrophobia of Switzerland, but Tanner’s focus remains the same, that of individuals who refuse the normal world order, and instead learn from—and lean on—one another. Winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes and a surprisingly mystical, almost otherworldly film, Light Years “demonstrates Tanner’s amazing willingness to test his own limits as an artist” (Richard Peña).

Jason Sanders
  • Alain Tanner
Based On
  • the novel La voie sauvage by Daniel Odier

  • Jean-François Robin
Print Info
  • Color
  • 35mm
  • 110 mins