Friday, June 24, 2016

When Desire Trumps Over Fear

Stranger by the Lake (2015) - Guiraudie
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A beautiful lake in the woods is the background for this simple yet effective thriller. Franck (Pierre Deladonchamps), a good looking gay man comes to the lake, cruising, like many other men looking for a casual sexual encounter in the bushes. One man catches his eye. It's rugged, tanned, sexy mustachioed Michel (Christoph Maou). But it seems he is taken, as Franck has a run in with him in the woods while Michel is busy 69ing with somebody. Days go by, same routine and they share meaningful glances. Then even before they hook up, Franck witnesses Michel drowning the man he hooked up with previously. Perhaps the attraction is bigger now. He is falling in love.

The film's done with such a subtle minimalist grace, it has a neutralizing effect in its graphic depiction of gay sex. Franck got the bad case of desire over fear even though the result might be deadly. It's a great filmmaking.