Sunday, May 25, 2014

Stranger by the Lake



When I was just a ten year old whippersnapper (1951), going to the movies at the Roosevelt Theater in Downingtown, PA I used to fantasize about seeing my favorite male actors……nude.  Well folks, that's happened.  And I don't mean porno films, I mean a regular, full production, well acted and written movie.  That movie I saw a few nights ago named "Stranger By The Lake."  









 Well folks let me tell you, be careful what you wish for.  First of all this isn't a "gay" movie.  You know, those cheapie movies done on a shoestring with shaky camera work and a nothing plot usually populated with stereotypical gay actors (the "gay accent" which is a big turnoff to me).  No folks, this movie is an Alfred Hitchock



genre psychological thriller….only with one BIG difference…..plenty of dingle dangle on display.  And I don't mean a 2/10th of a second shot of a man's gentiles   (I don't call a man's genitals "junk", thank you).  And I wouldn't call the genital display gratuitous, it is reality.  Yes folks, we have finally arrived at REALITY at depicting scenes of real life as they are.

I'm not going to do a review of the whole movies other than to say that once I got past all the casual, matter of fact full front nudity (none of that "Full Monty"



scam
 tease here folks, you do get the FULL MONTY…A LOT), the story was actually quite good.  In fact, I was rather enthralled and surprised by the ending which, to me, is always a sign of a good movie.  





Now some of you (mainly my very nice lady friends) will see this movie and think, "That can't be the way it REALLY is."  Let me assure you (ladies), it is.  Not that I have any first hand knowledge (well, maybe a…..little bit) but I'm telling you, this movie accurately portrays one of the more seamy aspects of the gay "lifestyle" (so to speak).  

To me, this movie was thought provoking on several different levels.  First it showed the banality of total nudity.  I didn't see anything sexy at all about the continual full display of "the goods."  But then, maybe that's me, I grew up with my sexual fantasies.  I've always preferred a bit of sexual mystery.  




Then there is the other level of the main character being attracted to an unattractive (to a typical gay man looking for surface beauty only), pot bellied older man.  I found "Henri"

Franck and Henri


a much more attractive human being than I found Michal, the Tom Selleck look-alike.  But then I never found Tom Selleck attractive either in a sexual manner.  

"Michal" and "Franck" from "Stranger By The Lake"


But that's me, I go for the nerdy, nice guys but not the smart alert Napoleon Dynamite smart assed jerk nerds.  In fact, the Napoleon Dynamites of this world I could smack in the head, they annoy me. There is a reason they're losers but I digress. 




Back to the main course subject at hand (no pun intended).

So so sum up, much to my surprise I found that I rather like this movie a lot.  One of my tests of a truly memorable movie is do I keep thinking about it?  Is it realistic? Does it raise questions?  Does it make me think…..about life and life's choices?  Well folks, this movie surely did.  


Choices

So if you decide to see it don't be put off by the very casual and matter of fact nudity.  Hang up your inhibitions and concentrate on the story….and the scenery.  Yes folks, this movie also had great scenery but no music.  None, nada, zilch.  A zero musical score unless you count the wind blowing…..no pun intended again…through the trees.

This is a haunting movie folks.  I recommend that you see it.  







18 comments:

  1. I will be on the lookout! I love Hitchcock!
    Thanks!

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Jay,
      This movie is a good psychological thriller for sure. The extra "bonus" of full frontal nudity is interesting and sometimes a distraction (I am gay after all) but still didn't take away from the good script and fine movie making.
      Ron

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  2. I've never heard of "Stranger by the Lake" but it looks like my type of movie - - on several levels. The only problem is that having to read the subtitles would drive me crazy while I was simultaniously trying to oogle the guys. I tend to agree with you that things were more interesting long ago when nudity was left to our imaginations (and fantasies) - - BUT, I'll never decline an opportunity to see nude hunky men. By the way, the actor who plays "Michal" is exactly my type. He looks like my very first lover Chuck.

    Wow, things have sure come a helluva long way from the movies we saw as kids. I remember when the gay film "Song of the Loon" was being shown in Los Angeles. I was absolutely dying to see it, but at the time I was far too young. It was actually being shown at the Paris Theater in Hollywood, which at the time was one of the hottest gay theaters in town. Years later I had some deliciously good times in the Paris Theater balcony. Eventually the theater burned down.

    Remember when "The Boys in the Band" was a hot movie? That seems archaic and tame nowadays. I used to have a copy of "The Boys in the Band" screenplay. My father found it and threw it out. Well, I've rambled far too long. You've managed to stir up some of my old memories.....

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    1. Jon,
      Please let me know what you think of the movie when you see it. Oh yes, I remember well "Boys In the Band". For the time (1965) it was considered very racy. Last year I purchased the DVD and watched it again. Still good although no nude scenes. You are right in that things sure have come a helluva long way since we were kids. I never in my life thought full nudity would be so casual in a main stream movie. I do have to say it was interesting but totally non-sexual, which sounds like a contradiction but I think when you see the movie you'll understand what I mean.
      Ron

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  3. I heard it was great when it came out in France. I always love to watch a good movie, which doesn't happen too often. I will look out for "stranger by the lake". Did Bill see it too?

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    1. Nadege,
      Let me know what you think of the movie when you see it. No, Bill didn't see it. HIs taste isn't the same as mine. He likes nature show. Of course some would consider "Stranger By The Lake" a "nature" show but he still didn't want to watch it when I suggested it.
      Ron

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  4. Glad you liked it, Ron. Approval coming from the likes of you vindicates my own positive feelings towards it. Among so much else I did also like the ending, which may have irritated some. However, slices of life are hardly ever resolved before melding into a next episode, just like the chain of events that reality is.
    The one you describe as a 'Tom Selleck' character reminded me so much of my own cruising days among sand dunes and foliage (long since past, alas) where every so often one would see a guy, stunning to look at, but yet....but yet....one sensed something creepy about him. Yes, that was EXACTLY how life is like - and I'm sure things haven't changed.
    (Hope you managed to read my own review - I posted the link when you asked about it),

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    Replies
    1. Ray,
      Thank you for getting back to me. I didn't see your review but I am interested in reading it. One summer during a month and a half period Bill and I did the "truck stop" thing, cruising among the trees and trails. We did that until we almost got caught during one of the many police raids. I'll have to write about it in a future blog (if I dare to expose my "family friendly" readers to that more sordid aspect of my past). You're right because those cruising days of anonymous sex was exactly how it was (and probably still is).
      I look forward to reading your review of "Stranger By The Lake."
      Ron

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  5. I saw this film last Nov at the Rehoboth Beach Indepdendent Film Festival. I found it intriguing and compelling, but ultimately a little disappointing since the motive for the murder is never made clear. But beautiful scenery and beautiful men abound in this film.

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    1. Mark,
      That's how I knew about this film, it was in a brochure for the Rehoboth Film Festival. I'm always on the lookout for a good gay movie, there are so few of them. I wrote down the titles of the movies I wanted to see and put them in my Netflix queue. Almost always they're not available but this one was. I was a bit put off by all the casual full fontal nudity but once I got past that I liked the story but the ending (which I suspected) left be a little disappointed. Sort of like a "Twin Peaks" ending, there was none.
      Ron

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  6. Ron,

    It got a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, by the way.

    Lar

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    1. Lar,
      I don't think this is the movie for you but it was a very interesting movie to say the least.
      Ron

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    2. From the brief synopsis given I think the movie sounds intriguing. If it's a good movie, then it's a good movie that's all I care about.

      Lar

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    3. Lar,
      I thought it was an excellent movie but I think most hetereosexuals (that would be you) might be put off a bit by the male full frontal nudity. Most straight folks aren't bothered by female nudity but do tend towards hysterics with full frontal male nudity. Can't quite put my finger on it (no pun intended) but from some reason all that dingling and dangling distracts them. So if you watch the movie, you have been forewarned.
      Ron

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  7. Ron - I think the movie definitely portrayed the nude cruising beach scene accurately. But I think one can say that without having experienced it. It's not a secret. I think it would be very similar in the bath houses. I also think the film is thought provoking - in regards to one's choices and values - and how they can change abruptly. How good people can make bad decisions.

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    1. Pat,
      Definitely the message was about good people making bad decisions. I found this movie to be very thought provoking.
      Ron

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  8. Stranger was an arsonist in the park. It is a sad story as well.

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    1. Jeff,
      Was that another movie?
      Ron

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