« Montreal Girls | Main | Ernst Lubitsch: Two films from 1919 »

June 02, 2023

Falcon Lake


Charlotte Le Bon - 2022
Yellow Veil

Would my reaction to Falcon Lake be substantially different had I seen the film, if not theatrically, at least not as a laptop screener? The problem is that the film is so dark in several scenes, so under lit, that I was not certain what I was looking at. It took me a while to understand that Ms. Le Bon was setting up a mood throughout her film. While I have appreciated films that were more style than substance, even the style wears out its welcome.

The film takes place in a remote part of Quebec, where two families share a house in a wooded area near the titular lake. Even though it is Summer, every day appears perpetually overcast. The almost 14 year old Bastien and 16 year old Chloe spend their days together, mostly just hanging out by the lake. Chloe tells of someone drowning in the lake although the story is never substantiated. Chloe's insistence that the lake is haunted by the ghost of the drowned man informs several future scenes. The relationship between the two shifts from childish games to sexual teasing.

The film was based on the graphic novel, Une Soeur by Bastien Vives. The French title translates as "A Sister". While the two characters of Chloe and Bastien are not related, they resemble siblings or at least relatives, a point brought up by their lake side friends. Le Bon, for the most part, follows the narrative of Vives. Curiously, Vives' Chloe is a blonde. The images are clean and clear. Seeing Vives' source work compared the film adaptation again makes me wonder about Le Bon's motivation to make almost every shot look murky. Even having some idea of what Le Bon may have been striving for, a constant state of dread, fails to achieve its goal.

Posted by Peter Nellhaus at June 2, 2023 10:36 AM