Light Years Away

  • Film
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An abandoned petrol pump in a desolate and beautiful Irish landscape is a curiously encouraging image for the future. The year is 2000, and the central character is an intelligent, tousled vagabond called Jonas (Ford) - the product of those good-hearted socialists who nurtured him in Tanner's earlier Jonas qui aura 25 ans en l'an 2000. Forsaking the city, Jonas is drawn to the remote Pallas Garage and its querulous, occasionally uproarious owner Yoshka (Howard). Here, Jonas endures a pointless, arduous apprenticeship (manning the dry pump, polishing the junkheap) before he is initiated into Yoshka's wondrous secret. The themes are large - the wilderness, Icarus, the earth. The film is mysterious without being mystifying or unduly solemn. Clear as mud, in fact, with the compelling logic of a dream. The real puzzle (though it's not a complaint) is why a politically discursive film-maker like Tanner - here working in English - has taken up this mystic and ritualistic fable.

Release details

Duration: 107 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Alain Tanner
Screenwriter: Alain Tanner
Cast: Trevor Howard
Mick Ford
Odile Schmitt
Louis Samier
Joe Pilkington
John Murphy
Mannix Flynn
Bernice Stegers
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