LOS ANGELES–Filmmaker Atom Egoyan will be presenting a sneak preview of his latest film, Adoration, on Friday April 24 at the Aero Theatre at 1328 Montana Ave. Santa Monica, CA. The showing will begin at 7:30 pm. Egoyan will lead a discussion on the film after the screening.
Adoration, written, produced and directed by Egoyan, tells the tale of a young French student who uses a school assignment on terrorism to delve into his own family’s murky past. The film speaks to our connections with one another, with our family history, with technology and with the modern world.
The special sneak preview will be followed on April 25 by screenings of two of the director’s earlier films, The Sweet Hereafter and Family Viewing at 7:30pm.
The screenings are being sponsored by Cinematheque, a non-profit viewer-supported film exhibition and cultural organization dedicated to the celebration of the Moving Picture in all of its forms.
Since his 1984 debut Next Of Kin, Canada-based Armenian writer-director Atom Egoyan has been challenging and enlightening audiences with his profound meditations on alienation and isolation in modern life. His early films, including Family Viewing (1987), Speaking Parts (1989) and The Adjuster (1991), established Egoyan as a fresh new voice in world cinema, and concerned themselves with the ways in which bureaucracy and technology interfere with interpersonal contact.
The size of his audience increased with the hit Exotica in 1994, and three years later Egoyan won international acclaim with his first adaptation, The Sweet Hereafter. This moving drama was based on a novel by Russell Banks, and it kicked off a series of adaptations for Egoyan that included the somber character study Felicia’s Journey (1999) and the erotic thriller Where The Truth Lies (2005).
In 2002, Egoyan dealt with his Armenian heritage in the searing genocide drama Ararat. Egoyan is an Oscar nominee (The Sweet Hereafter) for director and screenplay and a four time Cannes Film Festival award recipient (in addition to nominations that didn’t result in wins). His films are often told with fractured, complicated timelines that emphasize the burden of the past and the disjointed nature of contemporary existence.
About the Films:
The latest film written, produced and directed by Atom Egoyan speaks to our connections with each other, with our family history, with technology and with the modern world. Sabine (Arsinee Khanjian), a high school French teacher, gives her class a translation exercise based on a real news story about a terrorist who plants a bomb in the airline luggage of his pregnant girlfriend.
The assignment has a profound effect on one student, Simon (Devon Bostick), who lives with his uncle (Scott Speedman). In the course of translating, Simon reimagines that the news item is his own family’s story, with the terrorist standing in for his father. Years ago, Simon’s father (Noam Jenkins) crashed the family car, killing both himself and his wife (Rachel Blanchard),making Simon an orphan. Simon has always feared that the accident was intentional. Simon reads his version to the class and then takes it to the internet, creating a false identity that allows him to probe his family secret.
As Simon uses his new persona to journey deeper into his past, the public reaction is swift and strong. When an exotic woman reveals her true identity, the truth about Simon’s family emerges. The mystery is solved and a new family is formed. Discussion following with director Atom Egoyan.
The Sweet Hereafter (1997)
After a fatal school bus crash devastates a small town, an aggressive attorney (Ian Holm) arrives to capitalize on the tragedy. As he tries to convince the townspeople to sue whoever (if anyone) is responsible for the accident, the lawyer deals with his troubled relationship with his drug-addicted daughter while his new neighbors deal with secrets and agonies of their own. Atom Egoyan adopts a fragmented, elliptical approach to Russell Banks’ novel and creates a powerful ensemble character study.
Family Viewing (1987)
Two years before Sex, Lies, And Videotape, Atom Egoyan gave us this riveting exploration of video and its relationship to sex and voyeurism. A young man who feels alienated from everyone around him — including his father and father’s mistress, who live together in a highrise full of video equipment — becomes involved with a young woman who works in the phone sex industry. As the plot reveals itself, connections between the characters (like the fact that the father uses phone sex as a tool in his lovemaking) emerge at the same time that all the technology around them creates distancing effects. Haunting and unpredictable, this is one of the best studies of voyeurism on film since Peeping Tom.