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.

Director's Statement

In terms of sexuality, I have always beat around the bush. I have never really tackled the representation of my own sexuality. The first scenes I filmed of sex, of two intertwined bodies, of loving embraces, of kisses, happen in THE KING OF ESCAPE between a man and a young girl. Perhaps it was time for me to deal with more serious matters. To represent the birds and bees … Not just horsing around or friendship-love, as I’ve often done … But passion-love. In STRANGER BY THE LAKE I wanted to address what it means to have someone under your skin: How far can it go? So I began with a world I knew very well and extrapolated on the elements that interested me: the sun, the water, the forest, which are all intensely erotic and poetic. Love and passion may be uplifting, but they’re above all sexual. I wanted to confront that head-on, in a different way, by creating sequences that combined the emotions of being in love with the obscenity of sex, without pitting the nobility of feelings on the one hand, against the trivial function of sex organs on the other hand. It also demanded a greater investment on the part of the actors and the question quickly arose of how far they’d go … But also how far I wanted to take them. In the script there were many more graphic scenes, described frontally and unambiguously. In the edit, we only kept what was necessary. In a world where 10-year-old kids have almost all seen pornographic pictures in the internet before they have even begun their active sexual lives, it seems urgent to rediscover sex as an interaction that may also be based on dialogue, seduction and love.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Alain Guiraudie

Written by: Alain Guiraudie

Produced by: Sylvie Pialat

Cinematography: Claire Mathon

Editing: Jean-Christophe Hym

Sound: Nathalie Vidal, Philippe Grivel

Cast: Pierre Deladonchamps, Christophe Paou, Patrick d'Assumçao

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2013