Alain Guiraudie has long been one of French cinema’s most singular voices. Openly gay, drawn to rural, working-class life, and a true regionalist (who typically works in and around his home region of Aveyron in the south), he is an outsider in almost every sense. Many of his films—including his 2001 breakthrough That Old Dream That Moves, lauded by Jean-Luc Godard as the best film at Cannes that year—are sui generis, shape-shifting tales, anchored equally in unknowable mysteries of desire and concrete facts of social life.
Underappreciated for many years—none of his earlier films have been distributed in the U.S.—Guiraudie scored an all but unanimous critical hit with his latest feature, Stranger by the Lake, a provocative tale of sex and death set entirely outdoors, in the vicinity of a gay cruising ground. (It won the best director prize in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes last year.) On the occasion of the film’s U.S. opening at Film Society of Lincoln Center, we present a complete, two-decade-spanning survey of this essential filmmaker’s rarely seen work, including all his short, medium-length, and feature films.
This retrospective was supported in part by the the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, NYC; The Institut Français, Paris; and Unifrance Films.
Director Alain Guiraudie will introduce the January 24 screening!
When a gay, middle-aged tractor salesman rescues a 16-year old girl from bullies, she falls head over heels for her unlikely savior—and he decides to try his hand at a straight love affair.
Director Alain Guiraudie in person for Q&A on January 24!
Convinced he’ll die if he sleeps another night, a teenager in rural France resolves to stay awake forever in Guiraudie’s first feature, which exists in a fragile, perilous space between reality and dream.
Winner of a directing prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Alain Guiraudie’s exploration of death and desire unfolds entirely in the vicinity of a gay cruising ground that becomes a crime scene.
An out-of-work hairdresser meets a grizzled shepherd (played by Guiraudie himself) in the Causses plateau and the two search for a mysterious animal from her childhood and his missing flock. Screening with Force of Cirumstance / La Force des choses (France, 1998, 16m).
Director Alain Guiraudie in person for Q&A on January 25!
A young repairman arrives at a near-obsolete factory to fix a mysterious piece of machinery and his burnt-out, aimless new coworkers find themselves nervously drawn to him. Screening with: Heroes Never Die / Les héros sont immortels (France, 1990; 13m) and Straight Ahead Until Morning / Tout droit jusqu’au matin (France, 1994; 11m)
In this wildly imaginative sci-fi fable, a mercenary conflicted by his unreciprocated feelings for an older man gets caught up in the struggle between a wealthy shepherd and his oppressed underlings.