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World Cinema

STRANGER BY THE LAKE (L'INCONNU DU LAC)

  • Film Description
  • Director Bio
  • The winner of the Un Certain Regard directing prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Alain Guiraudie’s latest effort immediately distinguishes itself with frank sexuality and graphic full-frontal male nudity set entirely against the otherwise serene backdrop of a lakeside beach in the French countryside. Having recently begun visits to this well-known gay cruising spot, Franck quickly develops an intense attraction to a provocative stranger, Michel. Taking advantage of all available elements of the medium, Guiraudie’s disciplined hand glides calmly through a variety of enigmatic tones and desires, juxtaposing explicit scenes that border on the pornographic with the cool tranquility of their surroundings. His sustained minimalist imagery and pacing pervade even as the plot becomes shrouded in mystery and danger. A bold and painterly meditation on longing, lust, intimacy and fear, STRANGER BY THE LAKE exhibits a confident stylistic fortitude that lingers long after its secrets are laid bare.—Landon Zakheim

  • Filmmaker Alain Guiraudie was born into a farming family in Aveyron, France, in 1964. He directed his first short film, HEROES NEVER DIE, in 1990. His absurdist first feature, NO REST FOR THE BRAVE (2005), and the quirky comedy, THE KING OF ESCAPE, identified him as an idiosyncratic voice in French cinema.

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