LGBT Lovin’ Day 1: Starting off with a gay thriller:
- Stranger by the Lake cruises around its taut water body with audacious yet empty eroticism. In the blazing heat of summer days, an idyllic destination turns into a popular cruising location for gay men. Some folk seek “no strings attached” acts of sexual pleasure in the wooded foliage surrounding the glistening shores. Others yearn for solidarity. A state of reflective loneliness, unable to confront the realities they live daily. Basking in the glorious sunlight, watching the primitivism of men envelope gay culture. Franck is a regular visitor, and finds himself attracted to a seemingly handsome yet minacious older man, Michel. But, when Franck witnesses an unforgivable act committed at the hands of Michel, his level of terror increases but unable to resist the sexual and emotive attraction that resides within. He falls in love with potential danger. Guiraudie’s dramatic thriller is a subdued insight into the eroticism of gay culture, and the endangerment it can cause. The world today is plagued with applications and websites primarily organising dates, meets and cruising locales. Take ‘Grindr’, for example. Anonymous users can choose to meet up for chats, sexual interactions or potential relationships. Browsing through users who desire nothing more than a one-off session of intercourse with no emotive restraints included. It is, unfortunately, a quintessential facet of gay culture. Guiraudie compacts this aspect into a basic thriller by exploring the potential dangers of greeting strangers, particularly those that only thirst for physical interactions. Franck’s emotive response to Michel grows rapidly, yet Michel’s stubborn efforts in segregating the “lake” with reality produces a cold reply. Almost toying with the possibility of falling in love with the sexual pleasure as opposed to the individual. Incredibly palpable imagery that becomes more apt with each passing year. However Guiraudie’s perspective both celebrates and reprimands the sexual nature of Stranger by the Lake, notably by featuring “unsimulated sex”.