Stranger by the Lake: New York Film Festival 2013

An idyllic gay cruising spot in rural France provides the backdrop for Alain Guiraudie’s mesmerizing mix of explicit same-sex ethnography and...

New York Film Festival 2013: Stranger By the Lake

An idyllic gay cruising spot in rural France provides the backdrop for Alain Guiraudie’s mesmerizing mix of explicit same-sex ethnography and old-school Hitchcockian suspense. Our lead is the boyishly handsome Franck (Pierre Deladonchamps), who spends several languid summer days lounging around a lakeside beach populated by men of all shapes and sizes. He’s most attracted to the muscular, mustachioed Michel (Christophe Paou), who has Franck all but proposing on bended knee after a day of sexual frolic. But could this sinewy Adonis actually be a murderer? With its graphically unsimulated couplings, rigorously composed widescreen frames, eerily lush landscapes and empathic understanding of gay culture in all its multifaceted shades, the film feels like a queer-cinema landmark. Click for showtimes.—Keith Uhlich

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