Alain Guiraudie, but damned if the guy doesn't make those things somehow work. After The King of Escape and to herald the debut of Stranger by the Lake, the FSLC in 2014 hosted a retrospective of Guiraudie's work which was in itself quite eye-opening. Now comes his latest movie, STAYING VERTICAL (Rester vertical) and it is every bit as bizarre, riveting and entertaining as the rest of his oeuvre. And definitely not for the mainstream crowd.
Damien Bonnard, shown below and further below). The fact that M. Bonnard plays a filmmaker who's having some trouble creating his latest work, simply adds to this connection. The plot of Staying Vertical ricochets all over the place, introducing characters who interact with each, often sexually, in ways that might seem crazy in a film by anyone else. But for Guiraudie pansexuality and polysexuality seem the norm, as does sexuality between folk of all ages, young adult to grandpappy.
TrustMovies included, as some kind of alternate universe. But it is one that we might gainfully learn from. And, oh, did I mention that this film is sometimes very funny, too? (The headline that appears on a newspaper toward the film's finale is as good as anything the National Enquirer has ever given us.)
The Old Dream That Moves (Ce vieux rêve qui bouge) -- and this one is, too. Yet, if you try to pin it down to some single idea or another, it seems to half evaporate. Morality, creativity, religion, autonomy, the self vs the other: the connections are all here, but what they might mean dances deliciously in front of you and remains just out of reach. Yet the movie's hold on you does not let go.
Strand Releasing and running 100 minutes, Staying Vertical opens this Friday, January 20, in New York City at the FSLC's Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, and at the IFC Center. In Los Angeles, you can see it beginning this Friday at Laemmle's Royal, and (at morning screenings only on Saturday and Sunday: think of it as going to temple or church) at the Playhouse 7 in Pasadena. Eventually, it will arrive on DVD and digital, so if you're not on either coast, hold on.