Under the Silver Lake, an obsessive and surrealist quest in the shadows of Los Angeles

Film still of Under the Silver Lake © RR

The American director David Robert Mitchell, acclaimed by critics for his horrific 2014 masterpiece It Follows, is in Competition for the first time with Under the Silver Lake, a neo-black comedy, featuring Andrew Garfield searching for Riley Keough.

In It Follows, David Robert Mitchell had left spectators shell-shocked with a chilling horror film, winner of the Grand Prix at the Gérardmer Film Festival. In a cold and misty atmosphere, It Follows tells of the hellish daily life of a young girl haunted by strange visions and the constant impression of being followed, after an innocent sexual experience. The director's interest grew deeper in rites of passage, a theme already explored in his first feature film The Myth of the American Sleepover, which painted a portrait of a group of teenagers about to experience the first thrills of love.

With Under the Silver Lake, David Robert Mitchell once again returns to the theme of initiation and the quest for maturity with Sam, 33 and unemployed, who has only one dream: to become famous. When he learns that Sarah, his mysterious young neighbour, has suddenly vanished, Sam sees an opportunity to set out on an adventure and look for her.  His quest leads him into the darker side of Los Angeles, where he has to solve disappearances and murders against a backdrop of scandals and conspiracies. 

The sunny swimming pools and appearances of girls from good families hide a darker reality, half thriller, half comedy. Through a series of surrealist scenes, David Robert Mitchell offers us his personal vision of the history of Los Angeles, an iconic city built on dreams, which "lends itself to being seen through the prism of the detective genre".