Valery Hache/AFPFrench director Alain GuiraudieA French thriller with graphic sex scenes won this year’s independently-sponsored Queer Palm award for gay-themed cinema on Saturday at the Cannes Film Festival.
French director Alain Guiraudie’s film “Stranger at the Lake” tells the story of a man who finds himself attracted to a local killer, set against the backdrop of a serene lakeside beauty spot.
Some scenes were described by one critic as “hardcore”.
But Guiraudie said he had not set out to be deliberately provocative.
The film had its premiere at Cannes last Saturday in the new-talent section Un Certain Regard.
Cinema drew artificial distinctions between romantic love and graphic sex, categorising the latter as pornography no matter what the context, Guiraudie said.
“I wanted to mix the two. I wasn’t looking to have beautiful love scenes interrupted by pornographic vignettes,” he said.
“I wanted to mix all that, so that it all goes together, that the sex be beautiful,” he added.
The film was one of two at the Riviera film festival to stir controversy with graphic depictions of gay sex.
“Blue is the Warmest Colour”, a lesbian love story, also generated buzz with scenes described as “the most explosively graphic lesbian sex in recent memory”.
The festival’s top Palme d’Or prize for best film will be awarded at the closing ceremony on Sunday.
The Queer Palm was first awarded in 2010. It was founded by journalist and organiser Franck Finance-Madureira to recognise a film for “its contribution to lesbian, gay, bi or trans” issues.
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