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Staying Vertical

Alain Guiraudie
Rester vertical
France 2016 / 100’
Sieranevada The Distinguished Citizen

Alain Guiraudie, the director of Stranger by the Lake (winner of a FIPRESCI at the 13th New Horizons), sets his new film in the barren landscape of the deserted, pastoral department of Lozère in southern France. Passed on from mouth to mouth, old legends about the Beast of Gévaudan spur a young filmmaker to set out in search of inspiration for a still-unwritten screenplay. Buried in debt and trying, unsuccessfully, to catch up on missed deadlines, Leo lets himself be swept away by the current of events. He meets a vibrant shepherdess named Marie who is raising two sons on her own. The fruit of their romance is not just another child but a series of adventures straight out of a hallucination. Suffering from postpartum depression, Marie leaves for a nearby town, while Leo has to face not only the challenge of fatherhood, but also the men circling around him. Guiraudie combines the atmosphere of myths and legends about the connection between man and nature, as embodied by bloodthirsty wolves, with the threats of contemporary society. He creates a world where status and social roles, as well as sexual identities, appear unstable and less than obvious. Holding nothing back, Guiraudie's grotesque tale is an allegory of life in contemporary France, where staying vertical is not so easy.

Agnieszka Szeffel

Alain Guiraudie

French director Alain Guiraudie was born in 1964 in Villefranche-de-Rouergue. His short films were presented and awarded at many festivals; all of his full-length features were hosted at Cannes – in the section Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, and his Stranger by the Lake (13. T-Mobile New Norizons IFF 2013 - FIPRESCI Award) was screened in the main competition section Un Certain Regard. Guiraudie’s works deal with sexuality and identity, maintained as a whole in a dreamy or even surrealist style.

Selected filmography

2001 Ce vieux rêve qui bouge / That Old Drams That Moves

2003 Bezsenność bohatera / Pas de repos pour les braves / No Rest for the Braves

2005 Voici venu le temps / Time Has Come

2009 Le Roi de l’évasion / The King of Escape

2013 Nieznajomy nad jeziorem / L’Inconnu du lac / Stranger by the Lake

Cast & Crew

director Alain Guiraudie
screenplay Alain Guiraudie
cinematography Claire Mathon
editing Jean-Christophe Hym
sound Philippe Grivel
cast Damien Bonnard, Raphaël Thierry, Basile Meilleurat
producer Benoît Quainon, Sylvie Pialat, Rémi Burah, Olivier Père
production Les Films du Worso
Polish distributor Stowarzyszenie Nowe Horyzonty
language French
colouration colour