Staying Vertical

(Rester vertical)
France 2016. Dir: Alain Guiraudie. 100 min. DCP

“A holy-shit movie ... The most shocking movie at Cannes last year.”
RICHARD LAWSON, VANITY FAIR

Top Ten Films of 2016
CAHIERS DU CINÉMA

The startlingly unconventional Staying Vertical, French auteur Alain Guiraudie’s follow-up to 2013’s Stranger by the Lake, his international breakthrough, finds beauty, wonder, and mystery everywhere it looks — at rolling landscapes and wild wolves; at birth, death, and sex; at the messy, marvellous spectrum of carnal desire. A fairy-tale-like meditation on what it means to be a vertical animal, it follows sexually-fluid screenwriter Léo (Damien Bonnard), who, while wandering the countryside in search of inspiration, unexpectedly becomes a single parent after fathering a child with a shepherdess (India Hair). Pitched somewhere between the neo-Bressonian austerity of Bruno Dumont and the deadpan comedy of Luis Buñuel, Guiraudie’s bawdy, beguiling film subverts norms and expectations at every turn, and has a dreamlike logic that begins to approach the mythic. With its oddball digressions and often very explicit images, it’s also guaranteed to divide audiences — but there’s no denying that Guiraudie is a singular, and singularly open-hearted, talent!


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REVIEWS

“A perversely humorous and frequently bizarre tragicomedy ... Strange, wholly unpredictable, and invigorating.”

Sight & Sound | full review

“Wildly eccentric, darkly comic, and filled with you-don’t-see-that-often moments ... Guiraudie is unafraid to tackle big themes.”

Screen Daily | full review