It’s a universally known fact that Ryan Gosling looks very good on camera, but last year the actor decided to try his hand at directing with his feature film debut, How to Catch a Monster. Filmed on location in Detroit, the film is described as an American fantasy neo-noir about a family who find themselves drawn into a surreal underworld.

How to Catch a Monster has now been retitled Lost River, named after the dilapidated town in which it takes place, and stars Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) as Billy, the mother of two children. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actor Iain De Caestecker plays Billy’s eldest son, Bones, who discovers a secret road that leads to an underwater town. The film also co-stars Saoirse Ronan as Rat, a girl who lives next door to the family, and Doctor Who graduate Matt Smith as a character called Bully.

A couple of images from Lost River have now been made available, courtesy of The Film Stage, starting with a standard behind-the-scenes photo of Gosling holding a camera and looking suitably directorial. The second still is from the film itself and features what appears to be Hendricks, outside some kind of (literally) monstrous establishment within the movie’s fantasy setting (click the below image to enlarge).

Speaking to Total Film last year, Smith described Lost River as having a “wonderful Lynch-ian quality to it,” which means that audiences should probably brace themselves for some weirdness. Lost River will premiere at Cannes Film Festival this year in the Un Certain Regard category, though a general US release date has not yet been set.

Thematically, Lost River is said to be about a family “holding onto the foundations of their house” but slowly finding themselves sinking into despair and hopelessness. Based on the watery nature of the town that Bones finds, it sounds like the town might be literally sinking into the ground, which could make for some striking imagery.

Gosling is so far untested as both a writer and a director (he also penned the script for the film), so Lost River is definitely worth a watch if only to find out what kind of talent he has for behind-the-camera work.

Lost River will premiere at Cannes in May 2014.

Source: The Film Stage