15. Stranger by the Lake Directed by Alain …
There is a certain simplicity in Alain Guiraudie’s L’inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake) not seen in many films these days. However, that is not to say this is a simple film; it happens to run deep with emotion, stimulation, and humor. The story is set in what appears to be the early 1990s in the south of France, where local men gather around a crystalline lake to swim, sunbathe in the nude, and cruise. Starring Pierre Deladonchamps as Franck, a sensitive and curious young man; and Christophe Paou as Michel, a seductively dangerous stranger, the film is suspenseful, sexy, and smart, not to mention beautifully shot.
Despite the fact that it’s now 2013, it’s still the case that nothing destabilizes the dialogue surrounding a film quite like explicit depictions of sex, especially when it’s of the same-sex variety. Just ask Abdellatif Kekiche, whose Palme D’Or-winning Blue is the Warmest Color has been dogged with controversy for its allegedly lascivious depictions of lesbian sex.