Atom Egoyan: Search and Destroy

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Search: Speaking Parts, Exotica, The Adjuster. Anything with David Hemblen and Gabrielle Rose in it.

Destroy: ? Can't think of anything, off hand, though Sweet Hereafter was a tad overlong.

Joe, Saturday, 13 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

the one with bob hoskins was dull at best

anthony, Saturday, 13 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Search: Everything before The Sweetafter is at least worth watching. Calender may be my favorite of his films, with Exotica running a close second.

Destroy: Hmmn. I don't know that I'd destroy The Sweetafter, but taking as many liberties as he did with the book destroyed a lot of the more interesting elements of Banks' original. Felicia's Journey is just okay, great Hoskins performance, but bogged down by inferior material/standard serial killer tropes. Egoyan should stick to writing original screenplays and stay away from the adaptations. I don't think they suit him.

Alex in SF, Saturday, 13 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Yeah, The Sweet Hereafter. Woops.

Alex in SF, Saturday, 13 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I sometimes wonder how great it'd be if independent filmmakers had the same sort of potential to sell their creative products to the public as independent musicians did. I often wish that the strong independent label culture that exists with music could exist with production companies -- that they could have the same appreciative audiences. Of course, then all the hepcats would have to collect 2x as much stuff -- their indie records and their indie DVDs, but still, it'd be great.

geeta, Sunday, 14 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Along related thinking, Egoyan has made some pretty interesting, digestible shorties, which probably are more cost-effective to make than full-length feature films. I liked the one set in Montreal ("En Passant"; it was part of a film anthology, I think) with all the stick-figure symbols. My guess, though, is that it would be hard to come up with featurettes of consistently good quality on a routine basis...

Joe, Sunday, 14 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I love the Sweet Hereafter. It is long but has more atmosphere then Exotica or Felecia's Journey. Haven't been able to find his older works.

bnw, Sunday, 14 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

The Sweet Hereafter and Felicia's Journey: RoXoR.

Exotica: the splintered time sequence stuff is interesting, but large swathes of this film seem to exist in some wierd alternate universe. And not an interesting alternate universe like in David Lynch films. I mean, that strip club in Exotica - do places like that exist? Why in the name of christ would a strip club have a DJ/MC who keeps reminding people that they can only look but not touch (and not in an 'I'm just stating the rules' kind of way, but like it's all part of the act)?

DV, Sunday, 14 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

The reason why you can't compare independant music with film is that a film takes an enourmous amount of money to produce. I suppose shooting on video cuts down on this dramatically, but even producing the lowest-budget film on actual film costs a fortune.

I've never seen an Atom Egoyan film, btw. I'll have to check him out.

Sean, Sunday, 14 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

The Sweet Hereafter was one of my fave movies for a long time (back when I was annoying and pretentious in high school mainly). Now I can watch maybe half of it before I get bored. Exotica was good and I still like it a lot. Felicia's Journey bored me to tears. I haven't seen the earlier stuff, though I'd like to.

adam, Sunday, 14 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I loved Exotica mostly because I love Don McKellar.

Mandee, Sunday, 14 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
Exotica: the splintered time sequence stuff is interesting, but large swathes of this film seem to exist in some wierd alternate universe. And not an interesting alternate universe like in David Lynch films. I mean, that strip club in Exotica - do places like that exist? Why in the name of christ would a strip club have a DJ/MC who keeps reminding people that they can only look but not touch (and not in an 'I'm just stating the rules' kind of way, but like it's all part of the act)?

I rented this the other night (first time I had seen it in a while; this was the movie that turned me on to his stuff)...still just blows me away. I actually find it more interesting than a lot of Lynch's alternate universes (though I like Lynch a lot, too), because while many of Lynch's sets are clearly off-the-meter NOT real, Egoyan's sets strike me as more subtle, and have a way of being 'real-yet-not- real' all at once. The strip club is a great example; also the all- white, sci-fi looking video mausoleum in Speaking Parts, the triangular house in the middle of nowhere in Sweet Hereafter.

Joe, Monday, 6 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

he is called ATOM so classic

mark s, Monday, 6 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

It's your money that he wants, and your money he shall have!

Joe, Monday, 6 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I remember Paul Verhoeven criticising Exotica for being a dishonest film, for not 'showing the sleaze' and 'just trying to be artistic.' Showgirls, he argued, was a testament to his unflinching realism..

N., Tuesday, 7 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Paul Verhoeven = Complete Idiot. Man should make more movies like Robocop and talk a lot less.

Alex in SF, Tuesday, 7 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

That's right, when I think of REALISM, I think of Paul Verhoeven! :)

Joe, Tuesday, 7 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I like how AE uses video to connote intimacy, not usually how video is used in the movies but usually the way we deal w/it in real life

Tracer Hand, Tuesday, 7 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

two years pass...
Atom Egoyan may be my favorite director though I willingly admit that most of his films are flawed in significant ways that might hamper other's ability to enjoy them. I agree that Calendar might be his best work; along with Next of Kin I think he addressed cultural issues better than he did with Ararat (which I do like and which doesn't necessarily address exactly the same issues, but you know what I mean). Exotica remains one of my favorite films of all time. The first time I watched it the ending felt like an incredible reveal, as if a key had dropped into my lap that unlocked some magnificent emotional vault; subsequent viewings don't get that back because I can't remember what parts of the story were unclear to me when I first saw it.

kyle (akmonday), Tuesday, 8 June 2004 01:44 (fifteen years ago) link

Felicia's Journey is great; can't remember if I've seen anything esle by him.

fcussen (Burger), Tuesday, 8 June 2004 01:49 (fifteen years ago) link

well that's one vote for his least popular film! I don't care much for most of it except for the bits he added himself that weren't in the book (the cooking show segments)

kyle (akmonday), Tuesday, 8 June 2004 01:50 (fifteen years ago) link

i dunno, maybe i was just biased coz of the irish element. I laughed at the wild mix of regional accents during the scenes in her home tome.

fcussen (Burger), Tuesday, 8 June 2004 02:21 (fifteen years ago) link

my favorite is 'Family Viewing'. one of the only consistent directors currently working.

(Jon L), Tuesday, 8 June 2004 03:25 (fifteen years ago) link

He's a bit precious sometimes.

Still good. I loved The Sweet Hereafter. I loved Mia Kirshner, too.

@d@ml (nordicskilla), Tuesday, 8 June 2004 03:28 (fifteen years ago) link

when oh when will she return to 24????

kyle (akmonday), Tuesday, 8 June 2004 04:17 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Where the Truth Lies was so bad, I wondered if it was bad on purpose. Maury Chaykin was wonderful, though.

Huk-L (Huk-L), Tuesday, 21 March 2006 19:20 (fourteen years ago) link

god it looks awful huh

i interviewed him comedically at last year's tiff

s1ocki (slutsky), Tuesday, 21 March 2006 19:33 (fourteen years ago) link

Egoyan's searchers should start from start to finish:
it seems he is getting worse from picture to picture.
Exotica is my favourite:
it has a genius use of segmantic time sequences, that looks alienated to each other in the begining, but as the movie proceeds, the broken puzzle pieces are fixed to perfection in the end.
Egoyan is great for that trick, and when he finished dealing with time and editing techniques, it was the end of him as an intersting director for me.

happy is a word, Tuesday, 21 March 2006 19:36 (fourteen years ago) link

A big part of why it was terrible (though my man-crush Ebert sure liked it) was the story itself, from the mechanics of the "mystery" (i.e. "how did you know she was wearing purple gloves--unless you were there!?!?!" etceteras) to the half-baked moral dilemma. And the lead actress was astonishingly awful.

Huk-L (Huk-L), Tuesday, 21 March 2006 19:39 (fourteen years ago) link

s1ocki, were you, he, or both being comedic?

Ararat was a mess, I'm curious to see Truth on DVD.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 21 March 2006 19:52 (fourteen years ago) link

i was being comedic. he very much was not.

s1ocki (slutsky), Tuesday, 21 March 2006 19:55 (fourteen years ago) link

As terrible as Truth was, it was oddly watchable.
xpost

AND ANOTHER THING: The Bacon/Firth comedy team was very much unfunny in their act.

Huk-L (Huk-L), Tuesday, 21 March 2006 19:56 (fourteen years ago) link

xxpost:

Slocki, are you Jiminy Glick?

Huk-L (Huk-L), Tuesday, 21 March 2006 19:57 (fourteen years ago) link

haha!

casting kevin bacon and colin firth as martin & lewis is astonishingly weird.

s1ocki (slutsky), Tuesday, 21 March 2006 19:58 (fourteen years ago) link

Kevin Bacon as a jewish comedian is the weirdest gentile-as-jew casting choice since Brendan Frasier in School Ties.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 21 March 2006 20:02 (fourteen years ago) link

i know!! colin firth as an italian is pretty weird too

s1ocki (slutsky), Tuesday, 21 March 2006 20:04 (fourteen years ago) link

Well given that it's "guys like M & L..." Yes, still weird. (But they had Sean Hayes as Lewis in some TV film, which is just criminal.)

and what about when Melanie Griffith played a Hasid?

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 21 March 2006 20:04 (fourteen years ago) link

Search Gross Misconduct, a made-for-tv jobbie Egoyan did in 1993 about the tragic life of hockey star Brian 'Spinner' Spencer. Just so you can see the worst wannabe avant-garde piece of trash possibly ever shown on a national (CBC I think) television network. Egoyan wrapped up a very interesting story in all sorts of directorial hokum.

scrimhaw1837 (son_of_scrimshaw), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 02:44 (fourteen years ago) link

i havent seen where... yet, though i want to, i really admired the amerinan film he did before that, not exactly liked it, but had a really powerful script, and some great acting

anthony easton (anthony), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 16:54 (fourteen years ago) link

Ararat? I couldn't get into it at all.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 17:19 (fourteen years ago) link

thats it
donald sutherland was amazing in it, and the writing was top notch. it wasnt a good movie, but an interesting one

anthony easton (anthony), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 17:38 (fourteen years ago) link

Paul Verhoeven on Egoyan's Exotica, in a Guardian interview around the time of Showgirls:

"That's a dishonest movie," Verhoeven says. "It's not showing the sleaze and just trying to be artistic. I protest against that. I'm a realist. I'm not selling it but showing it. If I'd wanted to sell it, then I would never have created this nasty, negative, backstabbing lying, cheating character of Nomi [the lead role, played by Elizabeth Berkley]. That's going against every convention. People want a fucking whore, and then they want her to have a good heart."

All that, of course, does make Nomi remarkably difficult to empathise with. "So's Lady Macbeth," Verhoeven says.

Alba (Alba), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 17:49 (fourteen years ago) link

"donald sutherland was amazing in it, and the writing was top notch. it wasnt a good movie, but an interesting one"

Donald Sutherland was in it? I don't recall him at all. Are you thinking of Christopher Plummer?

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 17:57 (fourteen years ago) link

Paul Verhoeven is very weird. A realist! *guffaw*

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 17:58 (fourteen years ago) link

search: calendar
meh: exotica, sweet hereafter
destroy: felicia's journey

älänbänänä (alanbanana), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 18:05 (fourteen years ago) link

i have a copy of the adjuster, should I watch it?

älänbänänä (alanbanana), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 18:06 (fourteen years ago) link

I still love The Sweet Hereafter to death, mostly because Ian Holm is phenomenal in it. Plus, he's a better adapter than original screenwriter (Felicia's Journey was a snooze though).

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 18:08 (fourteen years ago) link

I like The Adjuster quite a bit.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 18:13 (fourteen years ago) link

I liked the Adjuster and Exotica, though I don't think I'd seen any of Egoyan's later films until Where The Truth Lies.

Huk-L (Huk-L), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 18:13 (fourteen years ago) link

"Plus, he's a better adapter than original screenwriter (Felicia's Journey was a snooze though)."

That's bonkers.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 18:14 (fourteen years ago) link

Wait a minute, The Sweet Hereafter has Bob Hoskins AND Ian Holm? Wouldn't they cancel each other out somehow?

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 18:17 (fourteen years ago) link

Bob Hoskins isn't in the The Sweet Hereafter. He was in Felicia's Journey.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 18:19 (fourteen years ago) link

Hoskins stars in Felicia's Journey, not Hereafter.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 18:19 (fourteen years ago) link

That's bonkers.

Most of his original dialogue sounds like Japanese koans translated into English.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 18:20 (fourteen years ago) link

They should have gotten Hoskins to be the video-game version of Ian Holm in ExistenZ.

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 18:23 (fourteen years ago) link

Haha even if that were true (and it only OCCASSIONALLY is) his original screenplays are a million times more interesting (and unusual) than any of his adapted stuff. I guess I really don't care if he writes his own stuff. I just want him to stop making crap.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 18:25 (fourteen years ago) link

Agreed.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 18:26 (fourteen years ago) link

Verhoeven utterly missing the point of Exotica non shocker

kyle (akmonday), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 20:35 (fourteen years ago) link

made-for-tv jobbie Egoyan did in 1993 about the tragic life of hockey star Brian 'Spinner' Spencer. Just so you can see the worst wannabe avant-garde piece of trash

Not all a-v Canadian hockey films can be Cowards Bend the Knee, you know.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 21:02 (fourteen years ago) link

three years pass...

Did anyone see Adoration? This played for like one week in Berkeley and I appear to have missed it.

akm, Wednesday, 3 June 2009 03:01 (ten years ago) link

seven months pass...

...and here's the trailer for Chloe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPimNHuCoRQ

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 13 January 2010 10:35 (ten years ago) link

one month passes...

remembered this guy during films of the 00's poll, thought how he had really fallen off compared to the previous decade

http://www.apple.com/trailers/sony/chloe/

i know who the sockpuppet master of ilx is (velko), Tuesday, 23 February 2010 10:38 (ten years ago) link

He fell off as soon as he stopped writing his own scripts.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 23 February 2010 14:04 (ten years ago) link

had no idea he had another one out so soon. I still haven't seen the last one. Which is weird because he was probably my favorite modern director for a number of years there.

akm, Tuesday, 23 February 2010 17:47 (ten years ago) link

I've only seen three of his films, I think. He's sometimes at the Cinematheque (Toronto) when I see films there. I'm not bold enough to go up to him and say, "Stop--please."

clemenza, Tuesday, 23 February 2010 18:10 (ten years ago) link

one year passes...

We watched Chloe last night... Mixed feelings on it. I guessed the twist right away (never saw the source film this was based on) but thought the third act was the weekest. Not bad though, the lead has great lips and curves... kinda this Sarah Polley meets ScarJo hybrid (straight up Egoyan's alley, iow). Julianne Moore is pretty decent too. I think this was the movie that Liam Neeson was filming when his wife died. Not sure if that affected his performance. Idk, I could go either way on this. Might watch again.

Fuck these fake assholes. They suck now.#0 (Steve Shasta), Tuesday, 8 March 2011 22:14 (nine years ago) link

"Plus, he's a better adapter than original screenwriter"

Still can't believe someone believes this.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 8 March 2011 22:16 (nine years ago) link

Are you not familiar with Amanda Seyfried, Shasta? She's been getting a lot of roles lately.

reggaeton for the painfully alone (polyphonic), Tuesday, 8 March 2011 22:17 (nine years ago) link

If you had looked at this poster when it came out, and were asked who would have the best career 7 years down the road, would you have picked Amanda Seyfried? I doubt that anyone would, yet here we are.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/8/8f/Mean_Girls_movie.jpg/220px-Mean_Girls_movie.jpg

The Man Mens (Phil D.), Tuesday, 8 March 2011 23:19 (nine years ago) link

felicia's journey was a weird freakin movie. idk what was even going on in that one.

ℳℴℯ ❤\(◕‿◕✿ (Princess TamTam), Tuesday, 8 March 2011 23:22 (nine years ago) link

Felicia's Journey came out while I was living in Birmingham, and it was fun to see my adopted home writ large.

reggaeton for the painfully alone (polyphonic), Tuesday, 8 March 2011 23:26 (nine years ago) link

i haven't seen his last three films, for some reason. at one point he was my favorite filmmaker. I still think most of his stuff through Sweet Hereafter is top-notch. YOu need to get over the canadian-ness of some of the acting though.

akm, Wednesday, 9 March 2011 00:26 (nine years ago) link

If you had looked at this poster when it came out, and were asked who would have the best career 7 years down the road, would you have picked Amanda Seyfried? I doubt that anyone would, yet here we are.

in the shower this morning i was trying to remember if amanda seyfried had been in this movie, and i managed to convince myself i'd been confusing her with blonde rachel mcadams.

difficult listening hour, Wednesday, 9 March 2011 00:33 (nine years ago) link

you all shouldve watched Veronica Mars, where Amanda Seyfried plays a better dead girl than Sheryl Lee...

hapshash jar tempo (Drugs A. Money), Wednesday, 9 March 2011 01:34 (nine years ago) link

two months pass...

Just watched Sweet Hereafter again; I think that movie has held up really well...

excitebikable boy (Drugs A. Money), Saturday, 21 May 2011 00:39 (nine years ago) link

I was just thinking of watching that again. Love Ian Holmes's last line to Sarah Polley in that.

Shart Shaped Box (Phil D.), Saturday, 21 May 2011 00:41 (nine years ago) link

"Ian Holm's" rather

Shart Shaped Box (Phil D.), Saturday, 21 May 2011 00:42 (nine years ago) link

^yeah that's great! Holm is awesome; Polley, too.

excitebikable boy (Drugs A. Money), Saturday, 21 May 2011 00:44 (nine years ago) link

Also the rare film that is better than the (well regarded) source novel. Seem to recall Banks liking Egoyan's additions as well.

Man, Egoyan - what happened, man?

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 21 May 2011 04:02 (nine years ago) link

stopped directing films he wrote, mainly. although I didn't see adoration (actually I haven't seen anything past ararat, which I think is very good)

akm, Saturday, 21 May 2011 15:31 (nine years ago) link

although people liked chloe, didn't they?

akm, Saturday, 21 May 2011 15:31 (nine years ago) link

Chloe has to be his biggest film; they were selling it at Walmart!

excitebikable boy (Drugs A. Money), Saturday, 21 May 2011 15:49 (nine years ago) link

it has the most famous lead acress of any of his films, which is why

akm, Saturday, 21 May 2011 21:22 (nine years ago) link

yeah, right, it's just an erotic thriller from Atom Egoyan is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Walmart

I wonder what happened to his repertory...

excitebikable boy (Drugs A. Money), Sunday, 22 May 2011 01:27 (nine years ago) link

eight years pass...

Chloe is on mubi, might give it a go.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 21 May 2020 11:59 (six days ago) link

I hear good things about Remember from some ppl I mostly trust but overall man it's hard to think of filmmakers who fell off harder

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Thursday, 21 May 2020 13:19 (six days ago) link

Chloe is like one of his old Red Shoe Diaries episodes. Remember was so bad.

Boring, Maryland, Thursday, 21 May 2020 13:36 (six days ago) link

still haven't seen anything past Ararat. I think his films through Sweet Hereafter are all awesome.

akm, Thursday, 21 May 2020 15:12 (six days ago) link


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