For the first time Alain Guiraudie is in the Official Selection, with his fourth full-length feature. L’Inconnu du lac marks a break with his previous films, which were more offbeat and fantastical, treating sexuality with a certain reserve. In L’Inconnu du lac, the French film-maker wanted to deal frontally with love as passion, with what it means to "have someone under your skin". The film takes places against a single backdrop, a gay cruising spot on the shores of a lake.
Which kind of cinema influences you?
I like to quote Fassbinder, Nanni Moretti, Almodovar, because they are film-makers who have meant a lot to me in terms of their individuality and energy and also in what they say. I also like going back to Bunuel, Glauber Rocha, to film-makers that I discovered as a teenager; it was with them that I discovered that an alternative cinema could exist.
Then, it's more difficult to explain but people like Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu, Bruno Dumont or Joao Pedro Rodrigues have a real influence on what I do. I'd find it hard to explain how it works, but what they do always lights me up inside a little (or a lot) and in a way I feel like I'm having a conversation with them.
Finally, as a film-maker, I'm not just influenced by the cinema. I always like to refer to Hergé, to the Famous Five, to Brecht, to the Pieds Nickelés, Pierre Desproges, Bernard Lavilliers...
Can you tell us about your next project?
It's a film about a dairy taken over by a cooperative of farm workers and smallholders in the French countryside (I'd quite like it to be in the Lozère). And against this revolutionary background, there's a love story between two men.
What question would you like to ask the movie director of your choice?
I really would like to know what Léos Carax did to get Denis Lavant to stay so hard for so long in Holy Motors
. And I'd also like to know what they moulded Vincent Gallo's prosthetic sex on in The Brown Bunny
Friday 17 May / Debussy Theatre / 11.00am - 4.30pm
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