2015 Governor General’s Performing Arts Award laureate Atom Egoyan speaks about the importance of the arts and culture in his Legacy Interview. His latest film Remember stars Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau will premiere at the 72nd Venice Film Festival in September 20105.
Ottawa Indie Fest guest blogger Matt Joyce launches his new series Visible Cinema today with an essay on Atom Egoyan‘s The Sweet Hereafter. The film won 3 awards at the 1997 Cannes International Film Festival including The Grand Prix. Egoyan was recently a guest on CPAC’s series Ken Rockburn Presents.
“So you’re just the thing we need?” – Canadian sensibility in The Sweet Hereafter
by Matt Joyce
In Atom Egoyan’s film, The Sweet Hereafter (1997), we see how tensions between different takes on reality come to define us as individuals and as a Canadian community. This film explores the ways in which we all have stories that control us and drive us to seek both higher meaning and resolution for our pain. The Sweet Hereafter deals with the recurring issue of the invasion of technology into small-scale human lives and how the inhuman side of an increasingly fast paced lifestyle can overpower our sense of truth. This theme is channeled through the outward, legalistic thinking and motivation of Mitchell Stevens (Ian Holm) contrasted against the inward, spiritual thinking of Nicole Burnell (Sarah Polley), who over time comes to seem like the vision and voice of Canadian cinema itself.
The people of a small town in British Columbia are all affected by a tragic bus accident in which their children are lost. A big city lawyer haunted by his own estranged relationship to his only daughter, who fights with him continually by cell phone, comes to persuade the distraught families to sue for compensation, only to find himself confronted with unpredictable ways of handling loss, anger, and issues of comfort and control. Mr. Stevens underestimates everybody; he thinks they can be manipulated and bought. However as Canadians we do not automatically think there is a conspiracy or some glitch in the system responsible and therefore suable for our pain. As Canadians we are grounded in the importance of our town, the strength of our community, the beauty of our rivers and mountains, and the inner peace we receive from our surroundings; hence the almost dream-like feel of this B.C. landscape where the people suffer what everyone suffers but remain contented, comforted by the help of their neighbours. Lawyers, legal solutions and cell phones cannot pinpoint what is at the heart of these people. More »
Award-winning host Ken Rockburn spoke to Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan in Ottawa recently, for Rockburn Presents on CPAC. Watch the episode here.
In June of 2015, film director Atom Egoyan was presented with the Governor-General’s Performing Arts Award for his contribution to Canada’s film culture. At 54 years of age, Egoyan isn’t quite ready to fold away his director’s chair yet. Egoyan was born in Cairo, Egypt to Armenian parents, both aspiring painters who came to Canada and ran a furniture store in Victoria, BC. Egoyan picked up a degree in International Relations from the University of Toronto before attempting to pursue a career in his first passion, the theatre. Miffed at not being accepted at the University of Toronto’s theatre school, Egoyan decided to make a film, and it was from that experience that led him on to a remarkable career that included such films as Exotica, The Sweet Hereafter, Ararat, Chloe and The Captive. His films have received two Academy Award nominations and 25 Genie Awards. He has also directed the Canadian Opera Company’s productions of Salome and The Ring. His next feature film, Remember, is scheduled for release in 2016. More »
A ninety year old Holocaust survivor with Alzheimer’s discovers the Nazi prison guard who murdered his family is living in the US under a fake name. He sets out on a cross-country road trip to seek long-overdue revenge.
That’s the premise of director Atom Egoyan‘s latest film Remember, starring Oscar-winners Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau. The film also stars Breaking Bad’s Dean Norris.
Shot in Toronto and various other locations in Ontario last Summer, the film with a reported budget of $13 million was produced by Robert Lantos, who last worked with Egoyan on 2008’s Adoration. More »