Author Topic: Stranger by the Lake  (Read 1229 times)

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wilder

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Stranger by the Lake
« on: August 20, 2014, 12:37:54 PM »
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Summertime. A cruising spot for men, tucked away on the shores of a lake. Franck falls in love with Michel. An attractive, potent and lethally dangerous man. Franck knows this, but wants to live out his passion anyway.

Written and Directed by Alain Guiraudie
Starring  Pierre Deladonchamps, Christophe Paou,  and Patrick d'Assumšao
Blu-ray available now, also currently streaming on Netflix





This was one of my favorite movies of last year, and is also probably the most beautiful digitally shot feature I've seen. In the theater I was convinced I was watching something shot on film, first time that's happened for me. The movie is graphic graphic graphic - moreso than Nymphomaniac, maybe on par with Blue is the Warmest Color. This seems to be the year of explicit sex in narrative movies making a full-on crossover. I'm not sure how much farther you could go.

Alexandro

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Re: Stranger by the Lake
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2014, 12:43:54 PM »
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I liked the film mostly during the first part, but as it went on I felt it gradually lost it's energy. The best part for me was watching the friendship between the lead and the dude sitting by the lake develop. I didn't mind the graphic stuff, the whole film has a great aura of reality to it.

The problem to me was with the style. I guess I've just about had it with these austere, shot-repeating, no-music, slow-paced, no-filmmaking fun movies. In this case I felt the film could actually be better if it had a more traditional approach.

wilder

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Re: Stranger by the Lake
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2014, 12:51:40 PM »
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The best part for me was watching the friendship between the lead and the dude sitting by the lake develop.

Yeah I agree. That was good. All the actors were great.

The problem to me was with the style. I guess I've just about had it with these austere, shot-repeating, no-music, slow-paced, no-filmmaking fun movies. In this case I felt the film could actually be better if it had a more traditional approach.

I don't think the film would have benefited from a more traditional approach, the austerity helped create the air of malevolence, imo - the camera is indifferent, somewhat sociopathic, but I understand your qualms about the style. It's "perfect" for what it is, on a technical level, but it also achieves that perfection so thoroughly because of its limited, restrained approach. Most shots are locked off from one vantage point, the camera isn't moving through space in a way that would make the cutting between frames more complicated and difficult to achieve. The cinematography has discipline but not necessarily complexity. There's a fine line between restraint used for a specific purpose, to highlight specific information, and restraint used to hide a filmmaker's technical limitations. I agree it's a pervasive problem right now. Felt Stranger by the Lake landed on the positive side of things though, with that restraint being icing on on an already strong story and performances that could have held up the movie regardless if it were present.

jenkins

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Re: Stranger by the Lake
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2014, 02:42:36 PM »
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during one of the first shots, a wide-shot of the beach and someone approaching the beach and someone lying on a towel on the beach, i said to my friend "i don't think i've ever seen a naked person that way before." he agreed, then after about twenty minutes he fell asleep

as for the naked person, i became worried he wasn't actually naked, because the lead didn't get naked for example, not then, and someone else was wearing a bathing suit, so i thought that no one was naked and i still liked the shot. i thought he might've had tan colored trunks

then later, everyone started being nakeder. i was fascinated by this. i was fascinated by the different types of people at the beach, the different ways a person could be at the beach, and the different perspectives people could have of other people at the beach

and i admired the sound of the wind. that wind sound isn't everywhere, no, i admired how the tops of the trees shook and trembled

so i felt a bit like the detective, or the peeping tom. watching. learning

for me, it was something like the beach meant to me what the castle meant to me in tod browning's dracula. i'd entered a strange place as a visitor and i wasn't sure what would happen

enjoyed the feeling. i personally had feeling during the entire movie and liked the movie

Ghostboy

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Re: Stranger by the Lake
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2014, 03:16:50 PM »
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Love this movie. One of my favorites of the year so far.

Alexandro

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Re: Stranger by the Lake
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2014, 12:29:38 AM »
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yes, the sound design!! that was as great as I could imagine, first thing I thought when it started: "that sounds awesome".

I guess you're right wilder. It's perfect but then it's too perfect. I never felt the true risk here, filmmaking wise. It has become almost a genre this thing, and I was hoping for some kind of twist that never came. Yet I enjoyed it while it lasted. I just don't think is the kind of movie I will revisit for purely joyful purposes soon. I miss that in movies, which actually stuff like Under the Skin and Grand Budapest Hotel are giving me back.

Basically, I wish fun and a sense of humor where more prominent in films like this. But still, everyone should check it out.

wilder

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Re: Stranger by the Lake
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2014, 12:39:21 AM »
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It has become almost a genre this thing

Haha yeah

Basically, I wish fun and a sense of humor where more prominent in films like this.

 :yabbse-thumbup: :yabbse-thumbup: :yabbse-thumbup:  and in _every_drama_ever_ Saying what we all know but that's so much of what makes PT's movies so great, and Altman's, and Scorsese's, and Kubrick's, even. Too bad Kubrick got nervous and used all those laugh tracks, though. The obvious sonuvabitch.

 

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