Chéreau came fully into his own with his third feature, the story of a young man (Jean-Hugues Anglade) who falls hard for an older male hustler after a chance encounter in a train-station bathroom. On one level, The Wounded Man is a pioneering work of queer cinema, evoking—like Alain Guiraudie’s recent Stranger by the Lake—a closed-off, marginal world in which gay love is closely associated with danger and threat. (The film was released on the cusp of the AIDS epidemic.) On another level, though, it’s simply a powerful reflection on the danger and ecstasy of succumbing to the pangs of first love—or, as Chéreau once put it, “the game of desire.”

  • Directed By Patrice Chéreau
  • 1983
  • France
  • French with English subtitles
  • 35mm
  • 109 minutes