XIXAX Film Forum

The Director's Chair => The Director's Chair => Topic started by: children with angels on March 10, 2003, 03:20:18 PM

Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: children with angels on March 10, 2003, 03:20:18 PM
Any love out there for the Candian (/Armenian) dude?
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: Cecil on March 10, 2003, 03:29:53 PM
ive only seen sweet hereafter and wasnt impressed. oh well.

im still going to see every other film by him for sure. im particularly interested in exotica.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: MacGuffin on March 10, 2003, 03:54:45 PM
Quote from: cecil b. demented
im particularly interested in exotica.


I think it's his best.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: snaporaz on March 10, 2003, 06:52:04 PM
Quote from: children with angels
Any love out there for the Candian (/Armenian) dude?


isn't he originally from egypt?
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: Cecil on March 10, 2003, 07:36:04 PM
Quote from: snaporaz
Quote from: children with angels
Any love out there for the Candian (/Armenian) dude?


isn't he originally from egypt?


he was born in egypt. his parents are armenian.


whos seen ararat?
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: Ghostboy on March 10, 2003, 08:28:35 PM
I've only seen Sweet Hereafter and Exotica...I went to see Ararat only to discover that it had already left the theater. But I love those other two, especially Sweet Hereafter. The way it tells one story by pretending to tell another is pretty brilliant.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: budgie on March 11, 2003, 04:53:29 PM
I've only seen Calendar, which I enjoyed and found touching and very funny, but strangely I'm not compelled to see more, I don't know why. Exotica was on tv not so long ago but I somehow let it slip by me. I suppose there's something slightly cool about Calendar, although I related to the situation totally. It's a puzzle.  :?
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: Gold Trumpet on March 11, 2003, 05:53:36 PM
I'm a major fan of Egoyan's work. I've seen three of his films (Exotica, Sweet Hereafter, Felicia's Journey) and realized to how simple each story is when looked at overall as one would right them down as a synopsis or something, but the films are always an experience of discovering a fresh and poingnant look at some layer of humanity. He mostly reminds me of my favorite director right know, Hayao Myazaki, who is a Japanese animator but follows in the richness of Japanese filmmaking and culture in deep observance for things that might be discarded. Egoyan follows Miyazaki in being able to stop, observe and make us care for the simplest of things. I remember after watching Felicia's Journey, I knew that it was not the supeior film to the great The Sweet Herafter, but I could not just put it off as a good film but beneath another. The face of the girl, Felicia, was completely with me. I was completely charmed by the face the entire way through. The experience of the film is what I remembered mostly. Which is a rare thing.

~rougerum
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: MacGuffin on March 15, 2003, 12:00:13 AM
After becoming well known for independent and artistic cinema, Director Atom Egoyan is turning his hand toward mainstream studio comedy. Egoyan's current project is producing this Canadian caper movie starring Ryan Reynolds ("Van Wilder"), David Suchet (TV's "Poirot") and Kristin Booth which follows the "members in a club that, for fun, plans highly complicated heists - though doesn't actually put them into effect. The fun comes to an end when the three of them are blackmailed by Suchet's gangster character, and now must pull off a heist for real". Why is Egoyan doing such a mainstream film? scooper 'Greywizard' has an explanation: "Most likely it comes from the recent reforms the Canadian government has enacted upon its feature film fund. After more than 30 years of subsidizing movies that got a lot of awards but almost no commercial success, the feature film fund is now choosing proposed film projects that have the best chance of commerical success. They now not only judge a proposed film project by the commerical attractiveness of the screenplay and how much the distributor is willing to put into marketing and promotion, but they also examine the filmmaker's past performance at the box office. With these new rules - and the fact that ARARAT did badly both in and out of Canada - it's possible Egoyan has chosen to do something much more commercial so that his next personal project has a better chance of being approved". Reynolds & Suchet will also be seen together in the upcoming WB comedy "The In-Laws".
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: godardian on May 13, 2003, 04:03:57 PM
Unfortunately, Ararat- in my opinion- was also Egoyan's worst film I've seen, and that includes the very early, very low-budget Family Viewing and Speaking Parts.

I think he's a great filmmaker. Exotica is my favorite of his, but I also love The Adjuster and Felicia's Journey.

For a while on IMDB, he was listed as directing a screen adaptation of Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin, which I was really, really looking forward to- Canada's best novelist brought to the screen by Canada's best filmmaker with a story that would've been perfect for his particular skills and apparent obsessions. Then it just disappeared. I think it could've been the "commercial" prospect he was looking for, too, had he cast the right actors.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: SoNowThen on May 13, 2003, 04:13:25 PM
Hmm, I don't like Egoyan at all. But I'm a Canadian who hates all things Canadian (with the exception of hockey, beer, and Pam Anderson). I just think we make absolutely the worst films. I read the script for Exotica, and had to put it down after 30 some pages, because the dialogue was just fucking horrid. And it didn't hold my interest in the least. Then, after enjoying the Russel Banks-adapted Affliction, I decided to check out Sweet Hearafter. Man, can this guy make actors look wooden and ridiculous. I had to shut that off, too. Why do people call this genius? It's just the same as shit all over CBC, and in every bad Canadian film school. Just junk. Maybe the non-Canadians think it's cool because it's so different, but lemme tell you, it's not representative of anything particularily unique in Canada, besides bad filmmaking.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: godardian on May 13, 2003, 04:19:00 PM
Quote from: SoNowThen
Hmm, I don't like Egoyan at all. But I'm a Canadian who hates all things Canadian (with the exception of hockey, beer, and Pam Anderson). I just think we make absolutely the worst films. I read the script for Exotica, and had to put it down after 30 some pages, because the dialogue was just fucking horrid. And it didn't hold my interest in the least. Then, after enjoying the Russel Banks-adapted Affliction, I decided to check out Sweet Hearafter. Man, can this guy make actors look wooden and ridiculous. I had to shut that off, too. Why do people call this genius? It's just the same as shit all over CBC, and in every bad Canadian film school. Just junk. Maybe the non-Canadians think it's cool because it's so different, but lemme tell you, it's not representative of anything particularily unique in Canada, besides bad filmmaking.


It's really just a certain sort of staginess, though, right? Like in David Mamet or Neil Labute? Part of the (intentional, I presume) dampening-down, freezing-out effect?

Don't tell me you don't think Margaret Atwood stands up to the top contemporary novelists in the world today... in fact, I think the Brits gave The Blind Assassin their top literary prize.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: SoNowThen on May 13, 2003, 04:28:56 PM
Although having never read any Atwood, I did see a documentary of her. She seemed to have a good head on her shoulders. But I constantly hear of her politics, which happen to be 180 degrees from mine. Sometimes I wish she'd just shut the fuck up. But I can't say anything either way about her work.


As a side note, though, if it's anything like the other heralded female Canadian author Margaret Lawrence, I'd fucking hate it.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: SoNowThen on May 13, 2003, 04:32:26 PM
I read a ton of books, but the only contemporary author I can really take is James Ellroy. I figure there's so many classics out there, I can't waste time with anything new. But I would like to read the Eggers novel.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: godardian on May 13, 2003, 04:34:05 PM
Quote from: SoNowThen
Although having never read any Atwood, I did see a documentary of her. She seemed to have a good head on her shoulders. But I constantly hear of her politics, which happen to be 180 degrees from mine. Sometimes I wish she'd just shut the fuck up. But I can't say anything either way about her work.


As a side note, though, if it's anything like the other heralded female Canadian author Margaret Lawrence, I'd fucking hate it.


I've never heard of Margaret Lawrence. Atwood is something along the lines of a sharper, more incisive Alice Munro.

Here in the US, you'd think a politically conservative Canadian is an extinct species, from the images we get. Socialized medicine, pacifism, lenient drug laws, French... that's what we see on the news about Canada.

As a democratic socialist living in the current good 'ol boy US of A, all I can say is I'm happy to live in a pocket that more or less reflects my politics to a degree.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: SoNowThen on May 13, 2003, 04:44:04 PM
Quote from: godardian
Here in the US, you'd think a politically conservative Canadian is an extinct species, from the images we get. Socialized medicine, pacifism, lenient drug laws, French... that's what we see on the news about Canada.
Quote



EXACTLY. Aaarrgh, how I hate that image. Man, my goal is to make films that are fun again. I'd stay here to make them, but they're not gonna be cultural political shit. Just tell good stories, and do it in an exciting way. Geez.

Yeah, I'm conservative to the point of facism.... but in a cute sort of way.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: godardian on May 13, 2003, 04:53:22 PM
Quote from: SoNowThen
Quote from: godardian
Here in the US, you'd think a politically conservative Canadian is an extinct species, from the images we get. Socialized medicine, pacifism, lenient drug laws, French... that's what we see on the news about Canada.
Quote



EXACTLY. Aaarrgh, how I hate that image. Man, my goal is to make films that are fun again. I'd stay here to make them, but they're not gonna be cultural political shit. Just tell good stories, and do it in an exciting way. Geez.

Yeah, I'm conservative to the point of facism.... but in a cute sort of way.


I happen to think that there's no way of not revealing your own cultural and political leanings when you're creating something, though obviously, it's death to try to make them obvious or preach. It's more revelation by omission/inclusion; what you show and what you leave out tells the viewer something about the way you see the world. The way you depict the world- the "world" you create- in your film/book/song can't help having a viewpoint, right?

This is one of the reasons I think seventies films were so great. I totally see Taxi Driver and Nashville and Network and Klute and so on and on as being loaded with cultural and political observation, but they work because they make it juicy and entertaining. I suppose you could say the same for products of the ultraconservative eighties like Top Gun and Flashdance and Beverly Hills Cop and Rambo, which all reveal something horrible about the politically horrible eighties, though if we're to judge by that, the conservatives get pretty short shrift aesthetically.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: SoNowThen on May 13, 2003, 05:38:17 PM
But when I say "cultural political" I mean it in the Canadian sense, which is: it has to take place somewhere SPECIFICALLY Canadian, like a Maritime fishery, or an igloo in Yukon, or a Prairie schoolhouse -- these are our cliches. Then, it has to reflect the politics of the Canadian Liberal party, not liberal -- mind you -- but Liberal (and we all know there's a difference). It's such a posturing, and it comes off as propaganda. The other type of Canadian cinema is the "cutting edge, boundaries pushing" low budget fare, which is usually nothing more than soft porn. You really can't imagine the frustration unless you've lived here, there's this prevailing attitude that we're the "cool intellectuals" to the US's "hayseed cowboys", which I guess means we have to make shitty films, music, and books. Hollywood may be cheesy, but at least it's produced some quality product that will stand the test of time. That's more than I can say for my country.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: SoNowThen on May 13, 2003, 05:41:41 PM
Oh... I just realized my "hayseed cowboy" comment may be misconstrued as anti-Bush, or something. This is not the case. This has been the popular asshole Canadian view of our Southern neighbors for a long time before. So you can't blame him for that (although I know there's people who will try).
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: godardian on May 13, 2003, 05:43:18 PM
Ah... I see. I can relate, having lived in Seattle for close to a year now. The cliches about Seattleites are gross, too. I'm not a coffee-addicted dirty hippie butt-rocker, but if I were to live up to the stereotype...

It is different from the outside, though. Some Canadian stuff really does seem cool and intellectual to me, though I try very hard not to stereotype an entire country the size of Canada. I always think of Atwood, Egoyan, and Kids in the Hall when I think of Canadian culture, though. And try not to think of Alanis Morrissette, Celine Dion, or Bryan Adams.

I liked The Five Senses a lot, too.   :oops:
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: SoNowThen on May 13, 2003, 05:48:53 PM
HAhaha. Yeah, Bryan Adams sucks fucking BIG TIME.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: The Silver Bullet on May 13, 2003, 07:26:37 PM
Atwood is genius. The Blind Assassin is beautiful. I have nothing more to say. My input here is worthless.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: godardian on May 16, 2003, 10:56:05 AM
Quote from: The Silver Bullet
Atwood is genius. The Blind Assassin is beautiful. I have nothing more to say. My input here is worthless.


Not so, not so! I actually went to a Q&A with Atwood last night, where she was very, very funny (the interviewer was trying to be way too serious, which was a problem).

Choice Atwood quote: "When I was a young female Canadian writer in the early sixties, things were different. You felt the weight of all these 'genius' males- Hemingway, Faulkner- on you, and you were made to feel presumptuous. Now, there have been great women writers. Young women are surrounded by people and groups who will say nice things and encourage them. I'm thinking of starting a DIScouragement group." :lol:

I thought about asking about the Egoyan film of Blind Assassin, but decided it was too off topic.

Speaking of which, I'm sort of making this the de facto Canadian film thread with these discussions. I thought of creating a "Canadian film" thread separate, but the thought of SoNowThen's horrified reaction gave me pause.

Anyone seen Denys Arcand's Decline of the American Empire? Another Canadian film I think is marvelous. The one he did with Thomas Gibson was not so great, I thought.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: SoNowThen on May 16, 2003, 11:44:25 AM
Horrified reaction, indeed.

Here's a couple names of the supposed "great Canadian films" I've seen:

Mon Oncle Antoine - an oldy, has quite a following in Quebec, I made it half way through and fell asleep.

Waydowntown - not too bad, fairly new, but par usual for Canada the acting is pretty bunk, and the payoff is dissapointing. But the cool thing about this one: one of the actors is from a short film of mine! He did this one first, but I saw it a couple years after mine was shot and had a good laugh at it. He plays a coffee vendor in this one. In mine he plays a crack addict beggar who pretends he is a crippled aids patient to try and scam money off people. I have such a optimistic view of humanity.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: Mesh on May 16, 2003, 04:15:43 PM
Quote from: godardian

I always think of Atwood, Egoyan, and Kids in the Hall when I think of Canadian culture, though. And try not to think of Alanis Morrissette, Celine Dion, or Bryan Adams.


Lately, I've been associating Canada with the Godspeed You! Black Emperor/Constellation records politico-aesthetic (made that word up mahself!) and with the band Rush.

Also, isn't Neil Young Canadian?  That ain't so bad...
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: godardian on May 16, 2003, 04:21:12 PM
Quote from: Mesh


Lately, I've been associating Canada with the Godspeed You! Black Emperor/Constellation records politico-aesthetic (made that word up mahself!) and with the band Rush.

Also, isn't Neil Young Canadian?  That ain't so bad...


Yeah! Yeah!!!!
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: Mesh on May 16, 2003, 04:27:32 PM
Quote from: godardian

Yeah! Yeah!!!!


The Band were pretty much Canadian, too.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: SoNowThen on May 16, 2003, 04:27:37 PM
Yes, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell are out finest examples. I will forever bow to the brilliance that is Joni. But they moved and did their best work out of our country anyway.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: SoNowThen on May 16, 2003, 04:28:21 PM
Y'know how people accuse Woody Allen of being a self-hating Jew? Well, I'm a self-hating Canadian.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: Mesh on May 16, 2003, 04:30:32 PM
Quote from: SoNowThen
Yes, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell are out finest examples.


Dude....Anne Murray.  Anne fuckin' Murray.



(http://countrymusicnews.ca/newsimg/Anne_Murray_copy.JPG)
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: godardian on May 16, 2003, 04:31:12 PM
Quote from: SoNowThen
Y'know how people accuse Woody Allen of being a self-hating Jew? Well, I'm a self-hating Canadian.


Ha! And I've been accused of being a self-hating fag.

It's sort of a compliment, 'cos it generally means you don't toe the line and swallow the conventional wisdom. "Self-hating" very often just means "independent thinking."
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: Mesh on May 16, 2003, 04:33:02 PM
Quote from: SoNowThen
Y'know how people accuse Woody Allen of being a self-hating Jew? Well, I'm a self-hating Canadian.


Quit being irrational, I mean:

(http://caracas.eluniversal.com/resena/cine/trabajos/golden00/imagenes/galeria/fox.jpg)
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: SoNowThen on May 16, 2003, 04:37:30 PM
Yeah, yeah, I forgot, MJF... love him. But he's practically American, too. However, I believe he was born in Edmonton (like me), then went to school in Burnaby, BC (where I lived during film school). No I like him a lot. Put him on my list with Joni and Neil.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: guy on May 18, 2003, 10:41:11 PM
SoNowThen, i totally agree with you on your Canadian film remarks...I too am Canadian and pretty much hate the movies that arise from this country...I mean there's been some great comedians that've came from here, but as far as films, it's dissapointing... Hopefully things will change one day....

'Last Night' was an okay flick...
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: Cecil on May 19, 2003, 12:56:21 AM
i also agree about the state of canadien films. i find them mostly to be trying to be smart and dramatic but end up just being boring. (treed murray was pretty good though). but recently the films from quebec have been very good.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: guy on May 19, 2003, 06:11:13 PM
'Treed Murray' was pretty unrealistic, i found. That guy would have been dead in the first 10 minutes in real life (maybe). David Cronenberg and Norman Jewison and two solid Canadian filmmakers that have made mainstream films....but who else is there? Who are good?? It's just good to see directors from Canada that choose to make films that aren't so pretintous and not just targeted for the dying breed of culture freaks. I could go on and on about it, but i'll spare you guys...
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: children with angels on May 19, 2003, 08:59:43 PM
Just want to step in pointlessly here, as the originator of this thread and go "Hey! I like Atom Egoyan!"

I guess I might feel differently if I was from Canada though. Same way as I have a thing against a lot of British movies.

Seems to be a lot of people's minds are made up against this guy. I don't know: I just dig him. I find his films beautiful, and pretty unique in tone. Actually I'm pretty much just talking about Exotica and The Sweet Hereafter here. His others I find interesting, but don't affect me emotionally. Those two really ruin me - I think they reach a depth of feeling (often through their detatchment) that I don't get  from a lot of other filmamakers. A kind of homelessness. A feeling that everything is just somehow slightly wrong - kind of like a David Lynch vibe without Lynch's open surrealism. He's talked about how he always wants to push the audience away, remind them they're watching images - but he manages to lure me in too. I like to think of him in relation to Hitchcock - I'm not comparing the two on merits or faults, just themes. Voyeurism, detatchment, sexual perversion... All that good stuff.

Anyway: yeah - I like him. I can totally see how I would criticise him if I didn't though...
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: godardian on May 22, 2003, 12:55:09 PM
Quote from: Ghostboy
More of the same, this time from Ebert....

CANNES, France--Coming up for air like an exhausted swimmer, the Cannes Film Festival produced two splendid films on Wednesday morning, after a week of the most dismal entries in memory. Denys Arcand's "The Barbarian Invasion," from Quebec,


This is from another thread, but I feel another mention of Arcand is due here. I didn't care for one of his films I've seen, but I really did like the other. I've only seen two. He's Canadian.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: children with angels on June 09, 2003, 04:23:07 AM
I just saw Ararat. I found it pretty moving, but mainly because of the subject matter. Jesus Christ: over a million people are systematically slaughtered and the Turkish government still denies it happened...?

Leaving that unavoidably affecting subject aside for a moment though, I didn't like the contrived way Egoyan chose to tell the backstory through the young guy talking to the baggage inspector: it was just such an obvious, theatrical way to get exposition done - really stood out like a sore thumb from the rest of the movie.

The mood was sterotypically muted and detatched, but interspersed with moments of frenzy with its depiction of the massacre of the Armenians. This is something he's started doing in his movies: slow, sombre then something hysterical - I'm not sure how I feel about it. I think I prefer his slow-burn, always under the surface, technique that gets used in Exotica and The Sweet Hereafter. But then I guess you need a little hysterical horror, considering...

Overall though the movie had a sense of being slightly over-analysed. He's been wanting to make this film his whole life, so he's going to want to make everything exactly as he wants it: and it shows... I can see that thematically it probably includes and satisfies everything he wants to say, but for this reason it felt kind of overworked. Made me think a little of Gangs of New York in terms of a very long term plan that - in my opinion - suffered under the weight of love from its creator.

It had some wonderful scenes in it though. The confrontation between Elias Koteas, the half-Turk, and the young half-Armenian guy in the hallway is going to stay with me for a while: "Do you know what Hitler said to convince his generals the holocaust would be a success:... 'Who remembers the Armenian genocide.'"
"Yeah: and nobody did. Nobody does."
Title: re
Post by: pookiethecat on June 09, 2003, 01:54:14 PM
The Armenian genocide is still a sore spot among Turkish and Armenian people.  I got into a relationship-ish with an Armenian girl and she would constantly talk about her dislike for the Turks.  Similarly, I knew Turkish people who strongly disliked Armenians, as people with a history that contradict's their perception of it.  They honestly do not believe it happened, and find it insulting and embarrassing that the Armenians call it a genocide.  To them, it was simply a necessary massacre, not a full-blown systematic murdering.  Due to our diplomatic ties to Turkey, the US won't admit it either...it's amazing that we call Saddam Hussein a genocidal maniac and here Turkey is, a country that systematically killed millions of people, and we can't even awknowledge it!! It is definitely a sore spot with me personally because both the Turks and the Armenian girl were close to me...their anguish over the genocide became my anguish, in a way.  I'm grateful for Egoyan making the film, even if it wasn't exactly a crowning artistic achievement.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: godardian on June 09, 2003, 02:05:30 PM
Quote from: children with angels
I didn't like the contrived way Egoyan chose to tell the backstory through the young guy talking to the baggage inspector: it was just such an obvious, theatrical way to get exposition done - really stood out like a sore thumb from the rest of the movie.

The mood was sterotypically muted and detatched, but interspersed with moments of frenzy with its depiction of the massacre of the Armenians. This is something he's started doing in his movies: slow, sombre then something hysterical - I'm not sure how I feel about it. I think I prefer his slow-burn, always under the surface, technique that gets used in Exotica and The Sweet Hereafter. But then I guess you need a little hysterical horror, considering...

Overall though the movie had a sense of being slightly over-analysed. He's been wanting to make this film his whole life, so he's going to want to make everything exactly as he wants it: and it shows... I can see that thematically it probably includes and satisfies everything he wants to say, but for this reason it felt kind of overworked. Made me think a little of Gangs of New York in terms of a very long term plan that - in my opinion - suffered under the weight of love from its creator.


I agree with everything here, and I would add: In all his other films, it seems that he is very suspicious of electronic means of recording histories, either personal or public. It's sort of a recurring theme, and I think he's always seen it as distancing, detaching, not entirely to be trusted, and sometimes dangerous. In Ararat, though, he seemed to avoid any real skepticism of it, when the situation really begged for it (especially in the remaking of history as a commercial feature film).

I need to see it again and intend to rent it upon its release to DVD. Maybe I was just in the wrong frame of mind when I saw it. But I really, really wanted to like it, so I think my overall disappointed opinion will probably stand.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: children with angels on June 09, 2003, 02:51:27 PM
I don't know - I think there was a real skepticism of the recreation of events in the movie: the film-within-a-film seemed to me almost like a mocking of his ability to ever truthfully recreate such a painful event. In his movies though, you're right: there is an untrusting element to the technology, but that's always weighed against our intense need for it: the church footage in Calendar, the home movie in Exotica, the filming of the girls in Felicia's Journey, the sex footage in Speaking Parts. It's this simultaneous distain for and obsession with the distancing of images from real life.

The whole of Ararat felt to me a little like a massive, emotional version of Calendar (he even recreated one shot from that movie: the herds of sheep). Very smilar themes about the past controlling the present, feeling a connection to it or being cold to it, controlled both. I just think the scale was a little too massive in Ararat and somewhat overwhelmed it. Made it 'interesting' rather than 'stunning'.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: MacGuffin on July 08, 2003, 03:09:33 AM
Where the Truth Lies: Atom Egoyan has optioned the debut novel by Rupert Holmes.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: MacGuffin on November 20, 2003, 10:48:54 AM
(http://cdn.digitalcity.com/mff_takefive/topegoyan)

Canadian director Atom Egoyan makes small films, intimate in scope, in which personal emotional crises take on an almost universal significance. In movies like The Sweet Hereafter and Exotica, Egoyan renders tragedy through the prism of different points of view, folding his characters' conflicting reactions back on themselves until we finally see the big picture.

Egoyan's new film, Ararat, may be his most ambitious project yet, in which he accepts the challenge of trying to capture the atrocities of the Armenian genocide on film. But the Cairo-born director is himself of Armenian descent and questions his own authority. Rather than making a historical epic, Egoyan chose to make a movie about another Armenian filmmaker confronting his issues with accurately telling that story. "Right now, because I've made a movie that's about filmmaking, that has a film-within-a-film, I've been thinking about movies that are about filmmaking," Egoyan says, "and there are some really amazing examples that are among my favorite films." Here, the director names five films that shaped the way he chose to tell the story of Ararat.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
8 1/2
(1963, dir: Federico Fellini, starring: Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale)
8 1/2 is a very exciting film dealing with the myth that a director is able, by controlling and making people do things on a set, to come to terms with huge issues in his personal life. It's about a film director trying to literally tame his obsessions. He's making a film, and he suddenly comes to a block. He's facing incredible pressures from his producers and critics and various people expecting that anything he does is brilliant, but he himself feels completely shallow and hollow about any gesture he makes. He begins to split between the practice of filmmaking as a fantasy and the actual logistics of production, and that tension is something I found really entertaining and really inspiring. The enduring image there is of the director surrounded by all the various women he's had contact in his life. In this sort of ridiculous fantasy, he feels he can kind of orchestrate them all to move and act exactly as he wants. Of course, that's the fantasy of film direction, that you get to be this kind of emotional tyrant, so it was this really great exposé and exploration of that myth.  

The Conversation
(1974, dir: Francis Ford Coppola, starring: Gene Hackman, John Cazale)
First of all, it's an amazing performance by Gene Hackman, an incredibly touching and vulnerable performance. Of all those '70s paranoia/conspiracy-types of movies, that one seems really haunting because it's dealing with a very personal moment for this individual which is completely plausible, and I find it as vivid now as it must have been at that time. It's about someone who is hired to record secret conversations, and he realizes as he is recording this one conversation that it's about something much darker than he could have imagined, something which implicates him morally as a witness. There's one part of the tape that is completely indecipherable, and he spends most of the film trying to filter through until he finds that hidden piece of text which will prove to him that his worst nightmare is true, that he has been the sole witness to someone else's murder. The descent that the character has into this obsession is really well calibrated. It's a really clear dramatic arc, and it's beautifully expressed. Those end scenes, where he's tearing up his apartment, are unforgettable, and his jazz playing, that final image of him in this completely devastated apartment playing his instrument, is just indelible.  

Blowup
(1966, dir: Michelangelo Antonioni, David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave)
What got me really excited about that movie was it somehow really gets to the glamour of image-making. That image of David Hemmings as this kind of fashion photographer with these two young London chicks at the time. The scene of him photographing them and that kind of dissolving into this orgy of image-making, both figuratively and literally was one of the more enduring images of my adolescent film-watching experience. Cinematically, I just think Antonioni is a hugely important figure. It's not his best film by any means, but it had a huge social impact. Again, it was a very clear metaphor for a certain state of consciousness where someone who seems to be operating without a moral compass is suddenly in a situation where they have to confront their ethics and their responsibility as a human being. Here, he makes a photograph in a park, and as he's developing it, he notices a figure lurking in the bushes. He realizes that he might have been the sole witness in a murder and documented it as proof, but in order to make that document clear, he has to magnify it and get closer and closer. Unlike the Gene Hackman character, where the process of filtration and excavation produces clarity, the David Hemmings character finds the more something is blown up, the grainier it becomes, and the more indecipherable it becomes.

Two Weeks in Another Town
(1962, dir: Vincente Minnelli, starring: Kirk Douglas, Edward G. Robinson)
This is not one of my favorite films, but it's a greatly overlooked movie. I don't even know if it's released on video. You probably know The Bad and the Beautiful, which is Minnelli's Academy Award-winning film about Hollywood at the time. Two Weeks in Another Town was made with Kirk Douglas 10 years later. It's sort of like the follow-up. Kirk Douglas plays this totally faded star who goes to make this marginal spaghetti western in Rome, and while there, he rejuvenates his life by taking over the direction of a movie. I think there's something really touching about that film and what it says about the Hollywood fantasy, even as it exists in this remote outpost of film production. It also talks about the process of aging in Hollywood. It's interesting to me that you don't have this [officially recognized] genre of the movie-within-the-movie, because it's something that almost every filmmaker that I know of has tackled at one point. It's a very profound theme, this process by which people try to record or create an environment or community of people engaged in the process of making other people do things that they wouldn't be doing otherwise, dramatizing or constructing scenes, and the way that impacts our own ability to communicate and create relationships.

The Pawnbroker
(1964, dir: Sidney Lumet, starring: Rod Steiger, Geraldine Fitzgerald)
One of the most effective films I've seen about the Holocaust would be The Pawnbroker. It doesn't really show us what happened. Instead, we see the consequences on this really traumatized individual after the fact. Rod Sterling plays a pawnbroker in the Bronx in the '50s. He's a Holocaust survivor who lost his entire family, and we see how that person has become hardened to life. He could live this suburban fantasy around him but chooses to punish himself by working in this pawnbroking business where he deals with the dregs of humanity. We see how that person lives with that history, and the historical images are almost subliminal. It was interesting going back to some of these [historical] epics, even things that you consider to be classics like Lawrence of Arabia. Sorry, but that film seems really forced. You've very aware of the pageantry and the construction. You're aware that you're supposed to absorb it in a certain way. There's something almost preordained, a dutiful acceptance of the image as a fact. People who know my work understand that I'm incredibly sensitive to notions of image production, that there's something both seductive and horrifying about it at the same time. I think [Ararat] is a film that deals with people making objects of trauma. On the one hand, the images of the film-within-the-film had to serve a purpose to educate people about what happened and how horrifying the atrocity was, but I also wanted to feel challenged by the way it was shown and to understand that there was something didactic about the manner of presenting it. The viewer can respond to those images on an entirely emotional level or be suspicious of them, and the film would work either way.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: godardian on November 20, 2003, 11:09:41 AM
I'll have to check into that Rupert Holmes thing. I'm still severely disappointed that his planned film of Margaret Atwood's excellent The Blind Assassin disappeared.

The Conversation and Blow-Up are certainly no surprise... the simultaneous faultiness and importance of memory and the fact that the technology we humans invent isn't nearly up to replacing it are pervasive themes in Egoyan.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: Gamblour. on November 29, 2003, 09:33:52 PM
Just finished seeing the Sweet Hereafter, my first Egoyan film. Man, I really liked it, one of those films where I felt like I didn't need to question what was going to happen, that it would all be there for a reason, in terms of the overall film. Ian Holm's relationship with his daughter was pretty heart-breaking, actually gave me some insight into my own life. Really great, listened to some of the commentary, he sounds like a really intelligent guy, I wanna see more.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: MacGuffin on November 29, 2003, 09:57:48 PM
Quote from: Gamblor the Manwhore
I wanna see more.


See "Exotica".
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: abuck1220 on November 29, 2003, 11:52:09 PM
exotica is my favorite, followed by sweet hereafter and family viewing.

i've also seen (and enjoyed) calendar, felicia's journey, speaking parts and the adjuster.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: godardian on November 30, 2003, 05:58:25 PM
Quote from: MacGuffin
Quote from: Gamblor the Manwhore
I wanna see more.


See "Exotica".


I second that.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: classical gas on November 30, 2003, 10:53:45 PM
I really loved "The Sweet Hereafter".  I gave "Exotica" a shot.  I had wanted to see it for so long, but honestly, I got a little bored with it and didn't finish.  It had a nice, slow, eerie mood, it made me think of "Muholland Drive".  But all and all, I wasn't interested.    So, is the ending really amazing or what?  If I didn't like the first half, would the end not impress me?  Of course, it could have been one of those times when I was tired and not in the mood.  Maybe I'll see it again and love it.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: Gamblour. on December 28, 2003, 10:10:06 PM
Just watched Exotica. I guess I was spoiled by Sweet Hereafter, but Exotica was ok. I mean, I really liked all of Egoyan's stuff, distortion of time, keeping every single bit of information from the audience, but I think I was a little tired, so I was confused too often, wondering too much and didn't feel much emotion. I dunno, more I think about it, the less I like it. Sweet Hereafter had a lot of emotion I could completely understand. I couldn't connect to much in this movie. Oh well.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: godardian on January 02, 2004, 07:07:18 PM
Quote from: classical gas
I really loved "The Sweet Hereafter".  I gave "Exotica" a shot.  I had wanted to see it for so long, but honestly, I got a little bored with it and didn't finish.  It had a nice, slow, eerie mood, it made me think of "Muholland Drive".  But all and all, I wasn't interested.    So, is the ending really amazing or what?  If I didn't like the first half, would the end not impress me?  Of course, it could have been one of those times when I was tired and not in the mood.  Maybe I'll see it again and love it.


The last 5 minutes brings the entire thing together in one tiny yet sweeping emotional moment. You can't say you've seen it 'til you've seen the end. I found it extremely powerful, much more so than if everything had been in "order," to see that moment after seeing everything else. I'll admit that the preceding parts of the film feel odd and are hard to get used to, but after seeing the film a number of times, I can say that they need to feel that way for the end to work the way it does.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: molly on January 02, 2004, 07:14:53 PM
hahahah
jewish singles network add just popped up
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: Stefen on May 22, 2004, 12:54:12 AM
Spoilers.

I recently watched the sweet hereafter again and I just gotta give props to this fantastic film. Atom Egoyan really plays with the emotions of the audience, with the many shots of the blood ridden bus. Dolores the bus driver is probably the saddest character in the whole movie. All she did was make a simple mistake. At the end I was actually happy for her that she was driving another bus and I got the impression Ian Holms character was also. Just a great film that demands attention.
Title: Atom Egoyan
Post by: ono on February 11, 2005, 06:45:05 PM
Several months ago I saw The Sweet Hereafter.  I didn't like it too much.  Had some interesting elements, but wasn't that great.

Posting now because I just saw Exotica.  What an amazing film.  So subtle, such excellent writing.  It's like an onion.  Just layers and layers slowly peeled off until you get to the heart of the matter.  There were a few loose ends, and a few lines of dialogue and a few plot points that were both quite painful, but the overall effect, the overlapping/intersecting stories, the moving in and out of scenes so quickly, the score, and that song "Everybody Knows" were all just great elements for a fine experience.  Only drawback is you have to be in the mood to experience it, or you might find yourself bored.  You need patience to enjoy Egoyan's stuff, that's for sure.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: ono on December 01, 2005, 09:00:25 PM
Very interesting. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CCD1VQ/qid=1133492264/sr=8-6/ref=pd_bbs_6/103-9704404-5223866?n=507846&s=dvd&v=glance)

No details yet on the contents.  Can anyone else find anything?  I was searching for info on Exotica because, randomly, the flick popped into my head.  It was 'cause I read the name Leonard Cohen.  Exotica is such a beautiful movie.  Worth at least one viewing, preferably two.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: Weak2ndAct on December 01, 2005, 09:26:26 PM
Most likely, the box will just be a package of the already existing dvds for Calendar, Speaking Parts, and Family Viewing/Next of Kin-- Zeitgeist is the distrubtor for the set and the individual discs.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: ono on December 14, 2005, 04:52:57 PM
You are correct, sir.

(http://www.deepdiscountdvd.com/images/covers/coverd/10_19/256316.jpg)

January 31st, 2006
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: w/o horse on February 22, 2006, 06:56:38 PM
I watched Next of Kin and Family Viewing recently.  Next of Kin was like an off the streets of LA videocam movie, which really surprised me.  Obnoxious v.o. and lazy camera work, a thin and forced story.  Oh and there were a lot of shots of televisions with an unmatched framerate.  It made me cringe.

And then next was Family Viewing and it was, 'Hello Atom Egoyan.'    You can still tell that he's got all the vinegar of a filmmaker who's ready to make change, Citizen Ruth and The Scar come to mind, in that he's pushing his points a little too much, especially for Egoyan.  This one had an ending, and a middle, and it had black and white, but it was still dense and enjoyable.  Really well written, well directed, well shot.  The things we expect from Egoyan now, here in his second feature.

It's also interesting to see the ideas of his later films on a more naked level.  He takes a clear stance on technology, the modern world, old vs. young, and monogamy.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: Gamblour. on February 27, 2006, 09:56:17 PM
I saw Family Viewing over the summer. The ending is a great moment, I remember the whole film was very Lynchian. Besides that it was made on video, I don't remember much else. It was decent.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: w/o horse on February 28, 2006, 03:59:04 AM
I saw Family Viewing over the summer. The ending is a great moment, I remember the whole film was very Lynchian. Besides that it was made on video, I don't remember much else. It was decent.

Lynchian?  What the fuck.  At least explain that.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: Gamblour. on February 28, 2006, 09:03:03 AM
David Lynch...ian. From what I can remember, the tone of the film was very much like Twin Peaks Firewalk with Me and a dash of Mullholland Drive. The tone. Anyhow, I remember writing it off as an experiment that doesn't entirely work.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: w/o horse on February 28, 2006, 12:25:32 PM
You're confusing titles.  You must be.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: Gamblour. on February 28, 2006, 01:36:16 PM
Nope, some Bud Cort looking kid meets some chick at a elderly home, and there's some scene with a laugh track, and the end is really creepy. This is a pointless conversation, if you disagree about an opinion I have about a movie I barely remember, then argue or something, just don't deny that I have seen this or whatever you're doing.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: w/o horse on February 28, 2006, 02:08:32 PM
Argue over your distorted memory of the film?  There is a laugh track in one scene, and it's sourced from a television.  It has a happy ending.

I don't know why you posted about it in the first place, is my point.  I wanted to know what you were trying to say.

Nevermind.  I believe you've seen the movie, the sun is out, the kids are playing, all is well.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: MacGuffin on August 26, 2006, 02:12:37 AM
Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan directs Wagner

Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan, renowned for award-winning movies that explore the dark sides of human behavior, is taking a turn at helming a grand opera with similar brooding features.

Egoyan, 46, the Egyptian-born son of Armenian parents who migrated to Canada, has examined incest, the horrors of war and the mysteries of fate in such deeply psychological films as "Exotica," "The Sweet Hereafter" "Felicia's Journey" and "Ararat." He will revisit some of those themes for an upcoming Canadian Opera Company production of Richard Wagner's 19th century opera "Die Walkure."

The Wagner classic, the second of the four-part epic cycle "Der Ring des Nibelungen," is a complex tale in which incestuous love, the will of the gods and fate combine to advance the overall themes of the Ring Cycle.

During an interview at the Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts in Toronto, where a production of the entire Ring Cycle will open for a three-week run on September 12, Egoyan described similarities in his approach to making movies and opera.

"In my films I am very interested in subtext and what makes people act the way they do," he said. "I try and bring that detail to the way I direct the opera but also the way I stage it. The way I create visual ideas which can reinforce the psychology of the piece."

This is not Egoyan's first foray into directing opera. He began with a 1996 Canadian Opera Company production of "Salome." He directed an earlier production of "Die Walkure" -- the source of Wagner's famous "Ride of the Valkyries" -- for the company in 2004. He most recently directed the play "Eh Joe" in London's West End.

When the Toronto-based director was first presented with the opportunity to direct "Die Walkure," he was full of doubt, he said, because he could read music but at the time had no background in opera.

"It's that doubt and that fear that actually creates an excitement," he said. "And I think if you don't feel that, then maybe there's something a little bit wrong. You have to be able to rise to the material."

The director cites the central conflict in the Ring as being "the power of love versus the love of power -- that's the theme that comes up over and over again because in order to get power you have to relinquish love."

The narrative of the Ring Cycle, which was written by Wagner between 1848 and 1874, was inspired by a German tale and Norse legends.

An emphasis on the bloodlust and horror of war will be a major focus in the Egoyan production.

"Wagner was not really criticizing the war machine," Egoyan said, "and I think this production is showing quite explicitly the horrifying results of that approach where war becomes an economy unto itself."
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: MacGuffin on August 23, 2007, 01:35:35 AM
Egoyan unleashes 'Adoration'
Film to star Speedman, Blanchard
Source: Variety

TORONTO -- Atom Egoyan's next project will star Scott Speedman, Rachel Blanchard, Devon Bostick plus his wife and longtime muse, Arsinee Khanjian.

Egoyan described pic, titled "Adoration" and which begins lensing in Toronto in mid-September, as a drama that deals with teens navigating "this brave new world and how people can invent themselves, or re-invent themselves, through technology."

The script for the C$5 million ($4.7 million) feature is "fluid," just the way Egoyan said he likes it.

Executive produced by Robert Lantos, "Adoration" is produced by Egoyan and Simone Urdl and Jennifer Weiss, the duo who, along with Daniel Iron, produced Sarah Polley's "Away From Her."

Serendipity Point Films has worldwide distribution rights, excluding France, which ARP is handling.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: MacGuffin on May 07, 2008, 07:11:03 AM
Sony Classics picks up 'Adoration'
Atom Egoyan film stars Blanchard, Speedman
Source: Variety
 
Sony Pictures Classics has picked up domestic and select international rights to Atom Egoyan's "Adoration."

Pic, starring Rachel Blanchard, Scott Speedman, Arsinee Khanjian and Devon Bostick, will preem in Competition at Cannes on May 22. Release plans are to platform with a bow in the fourth quarter of this year.

Foreign territories in the deal include Latin America, Australia and New Zealand, with additional rights still available through Maximum Film Intl.

Contempo drama concern a teen who creates a false Internet persona and goes in search of a family secret. Pic marks the seventh collaboration between Egoyan and producer Robert Lantos.

In addition to Egoyan and Lantos, "Adoration" producers are Simone Urdl and Jennifer Weiss, with Marcy Gerstein as associate producer.

Separately, Egoyan has nabbed the 2008 Dan David Prize for the arts, which carries a $1 million purse to be shared with his fellow winners, author Amos Oz and playwright Tom Stoppard. Cited for "superb modernist filmmaking that explores Armenian history and culture," Egoyan will be honored with the others on May 19 in Israel before President Shimon Peres.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: I Don't Believe in Beatles on May 22, 2008, 11:35:59 AM
Film Review: Adoration
Bottom Line: Rewarding drama about coming to terms with personal loss.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/awards_festivals/fest_reviews/article_display.jsp?&rid=11170)

By Ray Bennett
May 22, 2008

Atom Egoyan's remarkable new film "Adoration" is a haunting meditation on the nature of received wisdom and how it can warp individuals, damage families and even threaten society.

Shot on beautifully utilized film but employing images vividly from the Internet and mobile phones, it's an examination of the power that false ideas may have on people's imagination and beliefs when they are repeated over and over.

Featuring an exquisitely measured score for violin, cello and piano by Mychael Danna ("The Sweet Hereafter," "Little Miss Sunshine"), the film treats moviegoers as grownups and it will appeal greatly to audiences that relish articulate and insightful filmmaking.

Structured as a mystery story with shifts in time and scenes from the imagination of characters, Egoyan's intelligent script tells of a high school student named Simon who takes a unique approach to an assignment in his French language class.

Required to translate a news story about a pregnant woman who arrived in Israel with a bomb in her luggage placed there by her boyfriend, Simon imagines himself to be the resulting child with his own dead parents cast as the people involved.

Encouraged by his teacher, Sabine (Arsinee Khanjian), Simon develops the story to the point where his classmates believe his father really was a terrorist and soon it's all over the Internet to the alarm of his uncle, Tom (Scott Speedman), who has raised him since his folks were killed in a car accident.

The boy's late grandfather, Morris (Kenneth Welsh), a condescending bigot and proud of it, always made him believe his Lebanese father (Noam Jenkins) had deliberately caused the death of his adored mother (Rachel Blanchard), and Simon feels he was in some way responsible.

Tom feels accountable too and in a series of well-staged and illuminating scenes, Sabine contrives to help them recognize something closer to the truth.

Bostick, who has to carry much of the film, does so with great aplomb while Speedman and Khanjian provide rewarding portraits of people only slowly coming to terms with great personal loss.

Danna's music maintains the film's high IQ with delicacy and warmth employing wonderful soloists Yi-Jia Susanne Hou on violin, Winona Zelenka on cello, and Eve Egoyan on piano. It's destined to make a very popular soundtrack album.

Cast: Arsinee Khanjian, Scott Speedman, Devon Bostick, Rachel Blanchard, Noam Jenkins, Kenneth Walsh. Director: Atom Egoyan. Screenwriter: Atom Egoyan. Director Of Photography: Paul Sarossy. Production Designer: Phillip Barker. Costume Designer: Debra Hanson. Music: Mychael Danna. Editor: Susan Shipton. Producers: Atom Egoyan, Simone Urdl, Jennifer Weiss. Executive Producers:
Robert Lantos, Michele Halberstadt, Laurent Petin. Sales Agent: Fortissimo Films.
U.S. Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics.
No MPAA rating, running time 100 mins.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: MacGuffin on June 10, 2008, 01:08:07 AM
Atom Egoyan's next is 'Seven Wonders'
The film will continue director's interest in technology
Source: Hollywood Reporter
 
NEW YORK -- Atom Egoyan has set his next project as a writer-director: "Seven Wonders," a love triangle that blends reality and fantasy.

The project centers on a woman named Pandora who, after her own relationship goes south, becomes consumed by a relationship between a commercials director and the director's boyfriend, even following the helmer as she shoots commercials at the Seven Wonders of the World.

"It's an intimate story that I think can be harnessed on a larger canvas," Egoyan said. "The Seven Wonders are an escape from our lives, places where we can believe in something larger."

Continuing Egoyan's recent interest in technology -- a topic that figures in his recent Festival de Cannes premiere "Adoration" -- the two women of "Wonders" meet online, leading to ambiguity over whether some of the interactions might be taking place only in Pandora's imagination.

Egoyan said he's piqued by modern technology because of the idea "that it's so easy to be in contact (that) relationships can get complicated and confused."

The director will produce "Wonders" through his Toronto-based shingle Ego Film Arts.

The project had been set up at Universal, but it's likely that it will move forward under an indie model. Canadian production banner the Film Farm, which produced "Adoration," could come aboard to produce "Wonders."

With its exotic locations, the budget is likely to be higher than it would be for a traditional Egoyan film. Several financing options are said to be under consideration.

"Adoration," slated for release by Sony Pictures Classics, looks at a shattered family, modern communication and an act of international terrorism that might not have happened. A release date has not yet been set by SPC.

In addition to "Wonders," Egoyan -- who was nominated for an Oscar for best director and best adapted screenplay for "The Sweet Hereafter" and exec produced Sarah Polley's 2007 directorial debut "Away From Her" -- is considering one of several projects based on others' scripts. He also is set to direct "Eh Joe" at New York's Lincoln Center this summer, based on Samuel Beckett's play.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: MacGuffin on January 09, 2009, 12:26:53 AM
'Chloe' sets star lineup
Moore, Neeson, Seyfried join film's cast
Source: Variety

Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson and Amanda Seyfried are set to star in "Chloe," an Atom Egoyan-directed thriller to be fully financed by StudioCanal.

Moore will play a successful doctor who suspects her husband (Neeson) of cheating. She tests his fidelity by hiring an escort (Seyfried) to seduce him. The move creates complications that put her family in danger. Erin Cressida Wilson wrote the script.

Shooting begins Feb. 9 in Toronto.

Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock will produce through their Montecito Picture Co. banner. They have worked for four years on the project, which began when they optioned from Canal Plus the rights to remake "Nathalie," a 2003 French film that starred Gerard Depardieu and Emmanuelle Beart.

Joe Medjuck and Jeffrey Clifford are also producing, and Jason Reitman and Dan Dubiecki are exec producers.

StudioCanal will distribute in France, Germany and the U.K. and will handle worldwide sales.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: hedwig on January 09, 2009, 12:34:48 AM
so it's a remake

could be good. premise sounds deliciously egoyanish. i'll see it.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: MacGuffin on March 03, 2009, 12:24:59 AM
Max Thieriot joins Atom Egoyan's 'Chloe'
Actor will play son of Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson
Source: Hollywood Reporter

Max Thieriot has been cast in "Chloe," Atom Egoyan's remake of the French thriller "Nathalie ..." being produced by Montecito and Studio Canal.

The project centers on a married woman (Julianne Moore) who hires a prostitute (Amanda Seyfried) to find out whether her husband (Liam Neeson) is cheating on her. The prostitute, however, cons her about the nature of her husband's fidelity, a move that puts the family in jeopardy.

Thieriot plays Neeson and Moore's son.

Gersh-repped Thieriot stars in Wes Craven's upcoming horror thriller "25/8" and recently wrapped "Driving Lessons" with Dermot Mulroney and Hope Davis.

Montecito's Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock are producing. Hard C's Jason Reitman and Dan Dubiecki are executive producing along with Joe Medjuck and Jeffrey Clifford.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: MacGuffin on October 09, 2009, 01:42:49 AM
Sony seduced by 'Chloe'
Moore, Neeson starrer to be released in 2010
Source: Variety

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group has picked up U.S. rights to Atom Egoyan's "Chloe," starring Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson and Amanda Seyfried.

Film bowed in a Gala slot at the Toronto Film Festival last month.

Scripted by Erin Cressida Wilson ("Secretary"), the sexually charged suspenser involves a woman who doubts her husband's fidelity and enlists a seductive girl to test him, leading to dangerous consequences.

Montecito Picture Co.'s Ivan Reitman, Joe Medjuck and Jeffrey Clifford produced.

"Chloe" was fully financed by Paris-based StudioCanal, which will distribute the film in France and in the U.K. and Germany through its wholly owned affiliates, Optimum Releasing and Kinowelt, respectively.

StudioCanal also sold territorial rights to distribs around the globe, including to E1 in Canada, Eagle in Italy, Pony Canyon in Japan, Nordisk in Scandinavia, Mars in South Korea, Gussi in Mexico and Playarte in Brazil.

"This really has been a huge title for us since we launched sales in Berlin," said StudioCanal's Harold van Lier. "We were able to see a full return on our investment via presales, which is a huge win in today's environment."

After Toronto, where it played to mixed reactions from buyers and critics, "Chloe" opened the San Sebastian Film Festival. It will also unspool at the London fest this month.

Pic's Stateside theatrical release is planned for the first half of 2010.

It's unclear which entity may handle the theatrical release. Under the SPWAG business model, an acquisition could be released through any Sony label or through a partner outside the studio.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: SiliasRuby on March 03, 2010, 07:53:57 PM
'The Sweet Hereafter' is just about perfect. I can't complain one bit about this film other than I wanted it to be longer. I wish I could say more but its truly a jaw dropping cinematic experience.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: MacGuffin on August 20, 2011, 01:12:31 PM
Atom Egoyan Ready To Shoot A Feature Based On The West Memphis Three Called ‘Devil’s Knot’
Related Documentary, ‘Paradise Lost 3’ Getting New Ending; Oscar-Qualifying Run
Source: Playlist

Well, that was fast. No sooner were the West Memphis Three freed on Friday that Hollywood struck while the iron was hot. Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan (”Chloe,” “The Sweet Hereafter”) revealed his intentions to direct a feature-length drama, called “The Devil’s Knot,” based on the true-life story of three teenagers, known collectively as the West Memphis Three, who were convicted of the murder and sexual mutilation of three 8-year-old boys in 1993. As the teenagers were fans of heavy metal music (and especially Metallica), the prosecution in the case suggested the motive behind the slayings was part of a Satanic ritual. Even with incredibly questionable police work—which many felt to be outrageous—sensationalized media, fear and panic from the satanism angle in the trial led to the teens’ conviction and sentence of life imprisonment.

This decades-long story took a dramatic and triumphant turn on Friday when, under a plea bargain, the three individuals, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley were freed immediately after 18 years in prison.

However, before you deem Egoyan’s movie a quick, cynical cash-grab, know that a script by Scott Derrickson and Paul Boardman, the screenwriters behind, “The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” has been in the works since 2006. Perhaps presciently—or aware of the behind-the-scenes actions being taken towards the trio’s freedom—Egoyan began working to refine the script six weeks ago with Boardman. It’s based on Mara Leveritt‘s 2003 investigative journalism book “Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three.” The picture is aiming to start production in the Spring of 2012. The project was once set up at Dimension Films, but they put it in turnaround when the company’s then-president Richard Saperstein left and then became involved as a producer afterward.

Since 1996, documentary filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky (”Brother’s Keeper”) have been chronicling the story of The West Memphis Three. The first documentary in what is now a trio of pictures, “Paradise Lost,” followed the arrests, trial and conviction of the three men (due to the heavy metal connections and condemnations, “Paradise Lost” is the first film to feature the music of Metallica, a band who up until then were notorious for never licensing their music for any commercial venture).

In 2000, Berlinger and Sinofsky made “Paradise Lost 2: Revelations,” a sequel documentary that brought further light and evidence to the case that could have exonerated the men, but eventually came to no avail. However, in the court of public opinion, many felt the men were innocent, making the trio a cause célèbre for artists like Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Metallica, Henry Rollins, Eddie Vedder, Johnny Depp and more to lend their support to the case (Jackson and Walsh were privately funding the case for years, it was revealed recently).

While the men were freed on Friday, their victory was bittersweet and legal absolution did not arrive. Under the terms of the plea bargain, Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley all had to plead guilty and were credited with time served. “I am innocent of these charges but I am entering an Alford guilty plea,” Echols, who was on death row, told the judge in the case.

No physical evidence connected them to the crime, but prosecutors maintained that the murders contained the signs of “the occult” and that the teenagers shared a “state of mind” that suggested they were the killers. Making matters worse, after eight hours of dubious questioning, police announced that one of the men had implicated himself and accused the two other teenagers. While he recanted hours later, the damage had been done.

The timing could not be any better for Berlinger and Sinofsky, who have been working on “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory,” which will now receive an Oscar-qualifying limited theatrical run before it airs on HBO. And or, creatively, the timing couldn’t be worse, as the duo has essentially completed the documentary which will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month as is without a new ending, but were in court in Arkansas on Friday to document the trio’s belated victory. A revamped and final version of the film will be completed by the time the doc airs on HBO in January.

With so much attention on The West Memphis Three this week, it will be interesting to see if Egoyan’s picture is one that audiences turn out for and critics endorse. He threatened a mainstream comeback with 2009’s sexually-charged drama, “Chloe,” starring Julianne Moore, Amanda Seyfried and Liam Neeson which was touted as his most accessible work to date, but critics savaged the picture and the film came and went without notice. Fiercely independent and uncompromising, Egoyan was on the precipice of a big Hollywood career after his sexual obsession drama, “Exotica” was released to critical acclaim. He was then offered a studio thriller called “Dead Sleep,” but famously walked away from the project when he wasn’t allowed to cast Susan Sarandon in the lead (Warner Bros. wanted a younger, sexier starlet instead). Tinseltown kicked themselves when 1997’s “The Sweet Hereafter” earned two coveted Oscar nominations (Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay) and three awards at the Cannes Film Festival (including the Grand Jury Prize). But Egoyan never fulfilled the promise of becoming a well-known director and followed up ‘Hereafter’ with the little-seen “Felicia’s Journey,” and continued on an esoteric path of filmmaking that left him squarely in the quarters of the arthouse shadows. Ever since his work has been as far away as possible from commercial filmmaking, even though name brand actors like Kevin Bacon and Alison Lohman appeared in 2005’s “Where the Truth Lies” and the aforementioned actors starred in “Chloe.”
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: MacGuffin on August 22, 2011, 02:18:04 PM
Director Atom Egoyan Reveals Details of His Movie About the West Memphis Three (Exclusive)
"These three young men could not have done the crime. But the onus is not on our film anymore to have to prove that," says the director of the upcoming 'Devil's Knot.'
Source: THR

Even before the news broke Friday that the three men known as the West Memphis Three were being released after 18 years in prison, director Atom Egoyan was already at work on a feature film about the case based on Mara Leveritt's non-fiction book Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three. The project had originally been developed at Dimension Films, and when it was put into turnaround, producer Richard Saperstein, former Dimension president, took it over. Scott Derrickson and Paul Boardman, who wrote The Exorcism of Emily Rose, have written a screenplay, which Boardman has been reworking with Egoyan, who boarded the project, about two months ago.

The plan is to begin shooting a $20 million independent production in the spring, with Elizabeth Fowler and Clark Peterson producing along with Saperstein and Boardman. The Canadian-based Egoyan –best known for 1997’s The Sweet Hereafter, for which he earned writing and directing Oscar nominations –is a big admirer of Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s Paradise Lost documentaries, which exposed how three teens, accused of taking part in Satanic rituals, were unjustly convicted for the murders of three eight-year old boys in West Memphis, Ark. in 1993. But he’s also convinced there’s another story –about the “human drama behind it” –waiting to be told. Speaking by phone from Amsterdam, the director talked about his reaction to the latest developments in the case, the questions still unanswered and how the men’s release could affect his film.

The Hollywood Reporter: What was your immediate reaction to yesterday’s news?
 
Egoyan: Very exciting news, obviously, quite shocking and sadly predictable.

THR: Why did you become involved with Devil’s Knot?

Egoyan: My longtime agent at WME, Robert Newman, suggested to producer Richard Saperstein that this was material that I might respond to. He was right. The screenplay beautifully examines the ebb and flow of grief, disbelief and anger that flowed through the community in the wake of this catastrophe. I responded to the emotional detail of the script, and its extraordinary dramatic possibilities. I am attracted to stories that examine the way we perceive reality, and the consequences of seeking truth and justice in extreme situations. And it’s an amazing story of a community and the conflicting emotional needs of seeking and finding justice, but also the complexities of jumping to conclusions. In this case, it was very clear to me that there was a miscarriage of justice. But more interesting to me were just the emotional human elements of the characters. It’s against the backdrop of this horrifying crime and this really unfortunate miscarriage that we all witnessed. I think the documentaries have done a really amazing job of showing that. But there’s a human drama behind it all as well. I think this script has been able to capture that. Drawing from the book, there’s a whole other narrative that I think presents itself, and that’s what really got me excited. Against this almost mythological story, it’s a contemporary Salem witchhunt. Of course, we’ve seen that story told before, but I think there’s also the story of other characters who were peripherally connected to this, whose lives have been changed as well.

THR: The story is now an 18-year saga. What are you going to focus on?

Egoyan: The script is focusing on the events around the time of the first trial. Our concentration is on this process of a rush to justice, this idea of trying to make sense of something that is just so abhorrent, the most extreme, evil crime imaginable. I think about what the community must have gone through when its children were found murdered this way, and then to find three of its other sons guilty of the crime, it’s a cataclysmic event for this community. The script examines some of the members of the community who were affected by this. I don’t want to go into the details yet, but we’re seeing it all against the backdrop of the trial itself. We’re certainly seeing the lives of the three victims and aspects of the accused’s lives. We’re seeing all of that, but it’s the backdrop to this other story that is also running concurrent to all these horrifying events.

THR: So the three teenagers who were convicted aren’t necessarily the protagonists of the movie?
 
Egoyan: Not the boys, but others in community. I think what we’re trying to do is create something of an ensemble drama here, looking at all these characters and looking at how the events ripple through the lives of a number of different characters. THR: Now that the three men have been released, will you have to make changes in the screenplay? Egoyan: We’re going to have to absorb that. Unquestionably, it will have an effect on the way the movie is seen. What I think is clear from the book is that these three young men could not have done the crime. But the onus is not on our film anymore to have to prove that, which is good for the drama. It allows us to actually do what our cript sets out to do, which is to look at the larger dimension of what actually happened.

THR: Have you yourself talked to any participants in the case?

Egoyan: We’re finishing the new draft, and there are conversations that we’re hoping to have. We couldn’t have secured the life rights of the three young men, because they were in prison and by law they couldn’t sell their rights. But the rights have been secured for all the other people in that community. Not to mention the book itself and the transcripts to the trial as well. We’re really looking at the questions that are set up in terms of the drama of the piece and the characters that we’re following. The script is in really good shape as it is. There are certain things that we are now really refining. We now have to look at the new circumstances, but it’s really not going to change anything, except maybe the titles that roll at the end. In the script that we have, nothing had been resolved and questions were still up in the air. Now we have answers to one part of the story. But there’s a whole other element that’s still open: Who did this, who’s capable of this horrifying crime?

THR: Who are you thinking of casting?

Egoyan: We have some really rich roles, and so I don’t think that will be challenging. What we’re really trying to do now is strengthen those roles, make them as complex as they can be. We’re looking at a spring shoot, so our focus now is to get the script in as good a shape as it can be. We should be ready to send it out early in the fall. THR: You mentioned the Paradise Lost documentaries. What role do you think they’ve played in keeping this case in the public eye? Egoyan: I think the documentaries have done an amazing job. The only other documentary like that I can think of is Errol Morris’ The Thin Blue Line. What’s exciting is that they are modifying the third installment because of the news that’s come out. I think that must be incredibly gratifying for those filmmakers. It’s clear how powerful the media can be when people are committed to telling a story.

THR: In your own case, do you see a connection between Devil’s Knot and any of your earlier work?

Egoyan: This story is not dissimilar to The Sweet Hereafter, [which looked at how a fatal bus crash affected a small town]. There’s this terrible tragedy, and people looking to make sense of it. How could this happen? The Sweet Hereafter had a clear perpetrator that actually concentrated the energy in a very different way. What’s haunting about this story is that the perpetrator is still free. Does the case now get reopened? There are a number of possible avenues to pursue. What’s wonderful is that these young men are free. What’s terrible is that justice has not been done for the three young victims. It is the most horrific crime imaginable. When you look at the crime scene, when you look at the circumstances around it, it is unspeakably terrible. That has to take a toll on the minds of the victims’ families.

I’m really interested in this question of how a sense of truth is arrived at, and what the process is for people seeking justice at a persona level, at a communal level, at a social level. Such a distorted sense of reality was presented to this jury. It’s quite jaw dropping really when you look at the legal process. The travesties were not really addressed in terms of process itself. We can’t do everything with this film, but I think we can touch on that as well, to understand when a situation is as extreme as this, and when there’s such a need for closure, how compromised our search for justice can be. I am trying to feel a sense of compassion for why characters behave that way –while also considering the consequences.
Title: Re: Atom Egoyan
Post by: MacGuffin on May 30, 2012, 04:49:03 PM
The Killing’s Mireille Enos Tied To ‘Devil’s Knot’
BY MIKE FLEMING | Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: The Killing star Mireille Enos has joined Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth in Devil’s Knot, the Atom Egoyan-directed drama about the West Memphis 3. Enos will play Vicki Hutcheson, the mother of an 8-year-old boy who lives in a run-down house in West Memphis. She becomes an important witness in the murder trial of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley for the killing of three 8-year-old boys found hog-tied in a drainage ditch. Hutcheson, it becomes apparent to investigators, could be the only link between Echols and Misskelley.

As Deadline revealed just after the West Memphis 3 murder defendants were released from prison last summer, The Sweet Hereafter and Chloe director Egoyan came aboard to direct a script that was originally written by Scott Derrickson and Paul Boardman, the team behind The Exorcism Of Emily Rose.

Firth will play Ron Lax, a private investigator who was the first pro bono supporter of the defendants as they headed to trial in 1993. Lax built one of the most prominent private investigative firms in the Southeast, and offered his services for free to the defendants, who at the time were reviled because of the heinous nature of the crime and the sensationalized reports about devil worship and ritualistic sacrifice. All of that was later proven to be unfounded, after the West Memphis 3 were convicted despite a total absence of physical evidence. Witherspoon is playing Pam Hobbs, the mother of Steven Branch, one of the victims. She initially believed the trio murdered her son and the other two boys but became persuaded they were wrongly accused. An upcoming documentary casts suspicion on her ex-husband Terry Hobbs, who was Steven Branch’s stepfather and who has denied any wrongdoing.

The script is based on investigative reporter Mara Leveritt’s 2003 book Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three, an in-depth chronicle of the sensationalized trials. Elizabeth Fowler, Richard Saperstein, Clark Peterson, Christopher Woodrow and Paul Boardman are producing.

Enos was nominated for a Golden Globe and Emmy for her role as detective Sarah Linden in AMC’s ‘The Killing.” She next stars with Josh Brolin, Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling in Gangster Squad, which Warner Bros releases September 7, and alongside Brad Pitt in World War Z, which gets released next summer. She’s repped by CAA and Gartner/Green Entertainment.