Stranger by the Lake | Chicago Reader

Stranger by the Lake

A young gay man (Pierre Deladonchamps) finds himself wrapped up in a murder plot in this beguiling thriller, a career-best effort by French writer-director Alain Guiraudie. Unifying time, place, and action as Bergman might, Guiraudie confines this to a single location, a secluded lakeshore where gay men swim, tan, and dip into the nearby woods for anonymous (usually unprotected) sex. But the director also shares with Hitchcock a sense that sex can bring deadly peril, the tone shifting from serene to sinister. The story offers a commentary on safe-sex practices, but rather than proselytize, Guiraudie communicates his ideas in lush landscape photography and striking point-of-view shots worthy of Rear Window. In French with subtitles.

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