Staying Verticalwhich had its North American premiere in the Main Slate of the 54th New York Film Festival, is French director Alain Guiraudie’s follow-up to his critically acclaimed Stranger by the Lake (NYFF51). The film centers on a filmmaker (Damien Bonnard) on a quest for inspiration to complete his overdue screenplay. He heads to the French countryside and begins an affair with a shepherdess (India Hair) that quickly results in a child. Guiraudie described the film as an exploration of the intertwining of commonplace with existential issues, something he felt was never successful in his films until now.

At a Q&A following the NYFF premiere of the film, Guiraudie also spoke to his own struggles with screenwriting, why he prefers to cast unknown actors, and the point of departure for the film, among other things. Staying Vertical opens Friday, January 20 here at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

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