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Photos: Ryan Gosling taps horror icon Barbara Steele for Lynchian 'Lost River'

First photos from Ryan Gosling's directing his first film, "Lost River."
First photos from Ryan Gosling's directing his first film, "Lost River."

The first photos from Ryan Gosling's directorial debut have been released and they promise a very David Lynch-like experience. The film, now titled "Lost River," stars Gosling, Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan and horror icon Barbara Steele.

Barbara Steele in 'Black Sunday'
American International Pictures

Gosling hasn't said much about the film, explaining, "It’s about this family living in a town called Lost River, which is perhaps a place that was once full of family and happiness and love, and is now this town that’s slowly descending into a place without any hope. This family is holding onto the foundations of their house and everything they think they need to hold onto.” His character is named Bones and Ronan plays a girl next door, named Rat.

With the first images now online at, Gosling's fondness for David Lynch's brand of surrealism is clear, as well as a Gothic nod to films from Hammer Studios.

Casting Steele shows that Gosling's also a fan of her work: The actress starred in such horror classics as Roger Corman's "The Pit and the Pendulum" opposite Vincent Price, Mario Bava's "Black Sunday," David Cronenberg's "They Came From Within," and she also had small parts in Federico Fellini's "8 1/2" and Louis Malle's "Pretty Baby" and took over the role of Dr. Julia Hoffman in the 1991 revival of "Dark Shadows."

The film's official synopsis: Set against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city, Billy, a single mother of two, is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while Bones, her eighteen-year-old son, discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. Both Billy and Bones must dive deep into the mystery, if their family is to survive. It was originally called "How to Catch a Monster."

"Lost River" will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and be released in the U.S. by Warner Bros.

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