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Monday, June 08, 2009

Atom Egoyan

Atom Egoyan: his work often explores themes of alienation and isolation, featuring characters whose interactions are mediated through technology, bureaucracy or other power structures; stylistically, his films often follow non-linear plot-structures, in which events are placed out of sequence in order to elicit specific emotional reactions from the audience by withholding key information (Wikipedia).

Individually, each of his films look to be as far removed from typical movie formula as Toronto, his home base, is removed geographically from Hollywood; unique in character, content, and especially structure, an Egoyan film can easily put off the most practiced moviegoer; to those who find his approach refreshing, Atom's films provide a puzzle containing logical clues into seemingly inscrutable behavior; the process of discovery involved in watching these films is an engaging alternative to standard movie entertainment; examined collectively, Egoyan's work isn't simply that of a renegade, out to break with convention simply to be different; his films necessarily reflect life through the very real experiences of their maker; Atom Egoyan's body of work is that of a true auteur, dedicated to using the language of film to explore his own artistic vision (The Egoyan Nucleus).

For me Egoyan is still a challenge, among all difficult directors of today (Hou, Kiarostami, Almodovar, von Trier, Jarmusch, van Sant, Wong, to name just a few): and I want to comment here some of his movies, to explore them this way, to understand his approach. From what I've watched so far, it seems to me that Egoyan is the opposite of Minimalists (which I'm probably much more used to); his is rather a Baroque architect of Borgesian amplitude.




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