Salamandre, La (1971)

“The girl’s name is Rosemonde.”

Two writer friends (Jean-Luc Bideau and Jacques Denis) research a contested news story concerning an enigmatic young woman (Bulle Ogier) who may have deliberately shot her uncle.


Alain Tanner’s second feature film provocatively explores the nature of truth in storytelling, and the ways in which personal involvement inevitably skews our perception. While not as pointed as his debut film — Charles, Dead or Alive (1969) — or as openly humorous as his later, more accessible ensemble film (Jonah, Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000), La Salamandre remains a classic entry in Tanner’s unusual oeuvre, and is worth watching at least once.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Bulle Ogier as the seductive, sullen Rosemonde
  • An unromanticized look at the boredom and limited prospects of working-class life
  • A clever satire on the writing process and “truth” in reporting

Must See?
No, but it’s recommended.


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