Best of the Decade
Screening Dates
  • January 24, 2020 8:40
  • January 26, 2020 4:30
  • January 30, 2020 6:30

Spare, steely, sexually explicit in a way that transcends mere provocation, Stranger by the Lake is vital cinema.”

Adam Nayman, Globe and Mail

French filmmaker Alain Guiraudie, a highly individualistic talent whose previous work remains little-known outside of Europe, made waves in 2013 with the sex-filled Stranger by the Lake, his international breakthrough. A homoerotic Hitchcockian thriller, Stranger won a directing prize at Cannes and was named best film of 2013 by Cahiers du cinéma and Cinema Scope. Guiraudie’s slow-burning, carefully controlled exploration of danger and desire is set over ten days at a lakeside cruising spot for gay men. There, protagonist Franck (Pierre Deladonchamps) falls for moustachioed, possibly lethal Michel (Christophe Paou), while also befriending Henri (Patrick d’Assumçao), a portly, middle-aged man uncertain of his sexuality. Occasionally sexually explicit, always matter-of fact about nudity, hedonism, and the irrational pull of attraction, Stranger heralded Guiraudie as an artist of rarified vision and daring — a reputation well-reinforced by his polarizing 2016 follow-up, Staying Vertical.

The sexiest and most elegant thriller in years … Guiraudie’s directorial assurance is stunning: the entire movie is a master class in audiovisual storytelling.”

Michał Oleszczyk,