A Lake envisions a family living in the woods and supported by the eldest son’s logging, despite his frequent, violent epileptic fits. The arrival of a stranger to help the logging sets off tremors that dislocate the delicate balance of family relationships.
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Abrasive yet fragile. Ugly but beautiful. The irate camerawork often renders the celestial landscapes and stark mise en scène almost completely abstract. It has its flaws but this film is unique, completely enigmatic and at times, visually wondrous.
Philippe Grandrieux makes connections to one of Norway´s greatest novels: "The Birds" by Tarjei Vesaas. Recommended reading if you like this film. The character of the lumberjack and the sister got the same names as the ones in "The Birds". And the story is vaguely similar.
There is something of value here, the idea that the human condition is as volatile as the elements that compose the atmospheric space, as if the human was the instability of a(n )(im)material condition, an atmosphere of sensations, rather than a psychologist banality . But again, Grandieux works to overload and overwhelm, diminishing its potential interest.
Grandrieux is arguably the greatest avant-garde artist making films today. In many ways, Un lac is confessional, its body-essentialism is different than what we see in a Catherine Breillat film, anachronistic in the tradition of avant-garde, and the incessant camera movement (hand held) as opposed to the exponents of time-image films lends this film a kind of uneasiness, like a mad beast trapped in a cage.
sketch scenery, frozen and misty atmosphere, more influential than any Hollywood film, close ups of bodies make a good link with long shots of landscape, from witch it reflects descent of a relationship as trees droppings, the rupture as the crackle of trees and as absurd as reflection of ax smashes trees