Ty Burr
June 26, 1992 AT 04:00 AM EDT

In the White City

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
108 minutes
performer
Bruno Ganz
director
Alain Tanner
distributor
New Yorker Video
author
Alain Tanner
genre
Drama, Foreign Language

We gave it an A-

Turning alienation into art has long been a boffo European pastime, but while malaise works on the page, screen boredom can get boring. It hasn’t stopped filmmakers from trying, of course, as indicated by two similar new tapes. More rarefied and satisfying is 1983’s In The White City, which tells of a Swiss ship’s mechanic (the wonderfully guileless Bruno Ganz) gone physically and emotionally AWOL in a spectral Lisbon. It’s the kind of sl-o-o-ow, meditative art release that collects dust on the bottom of video-store shelves, but if you can slow down your metabolism and just watch, Alain Tanner’s oblique style yields torrents of blue pleasure. A-

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