Of the myriad of cinematic delights that graced the big screen last year, Bruno Dumont‘s Li’l Quinquin was easily the most generous, tracking a series of strange killings in a small French town through a pair of bumbling detectives and the titular adolescent’s group of friends and family. After a long line of mesmerizing yet miserable films, from the great (Humanite, The Life of Jesus) to the forgettable (Flanders, Outside Satan), Li’l Quinquin represented the truest, most stylistically audacious triumph of his career thus far, thanks largely to his more open embrace of humor and a vast landscape of characters and actions. And if the first trailer for Slack Bay, his imminent follow-up to Li’l Quinquin, is any indication, his next film looks to follow that impulse into a galvanic rumination on class, murder, and French history. This also marks his second film with the inimitable Juliette Binoche, who starred in the director’s impressive Camille Claudel 1915, who will co-star alongside French cinema stalwarts Fabrice Luchini and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. The film comes out on May 11th in France, and, hopefully, will secure stateside distribution not so long after.
Here’s the first trailer for Slack Bay:
Here’s the official synopsis for Slack Bay:
Summer 1910. Several tourists have vanished while relaxing on the beautiful beaches of the Channel Coast. Infamous inspectors Machin and Malfoy soon gather that the epicenter of these mysterious disappearances must be Slack Bay, a unique site where the Slack river and the sea join only at high tide. There lives a small community of fishermen and other oyster farmers. Among them evolves a curious family, the Bréfort, renowned ferrymen of the Slack Bay, lead by the father nick-named “The Eternal”, who rules as best as he can on his prankster bunch of sons, especially the impetuous Ma Loute, aged 18.
Towering high above the bay stands the Van Peteghems’ mansion. Every summer, this bourgeois family – all degenerate and decadent from inbreeding – stagnates in the villa, not without mingling during their leisure hours of walking, sailing or bathing, with the ordinary local people, Ma Loute and the other Bréforts. Over the course of five days, as starts a peculiar love story between Ma Loute and the young and mischievous Billie Van Peteghem, confusion and mystification will descend on both families, shaking their convictions, foundations and way of life.
And here’s the first poster for Slack Bay: