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Old 06-10-2003, 11:03 PM   #1
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Anybody a fan of Atom Egoyan?

He was given an honourary law degree from the University of Toronto/Trinity College, and spoke at my convocation today.

I was quite impressed with his speech, and he got a huge response out of the crowd.

Unfortunately, they whisked him away before I could get a picture taken with him.

I have still not seen The Sweet Hereafter, but am now inspired to.
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Old 06-10-2003, 11:07 PM   #2
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Swee Hereafter

Exoctica is great too
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Old 06-10-2003, 11:13 PM   #3
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Felicia's Journey (1999) is good, but not his best

Ararat (2002) i have not seen, it is highly rated
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Old 06-11-2003, 12:30 AM   #4
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Thanks, deep. I will look into them this weekend.

His speech was very good, although I imagine it would have been met with some protest had it not been in Canada. He talked a lot about the media and what perception is, and how people like him who are part of the media need people like us to keep asking the hard questions, to keep questioning what we are being fed as information and facts and why. The "with us or against us" thing made it into the speech, but he also talked about his own convocation which was at UofT, and it all tied in together well. He got a huge, huge response from the audience. Had to get up for an encore applause.

I was very impressed with him as a speaker. I've seen bits of Exotica on the movie channel, years ago, though.
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Old 06-12-2003, 06:03 PM   #5
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I am not surprised that he is an excellent speaker.


Exotica is a film that puts some people off because it is centered around a Gentlemenís club (dancers semi-dressed).

If you can get passed that, it is a layered film that unfolds. Characters and motives are not what they appear. It is a bit like Momento in that there are flashbacks to fill in the holes.

The Sweet Hereafter will appeal to more people. Again things are not what they appear. His films do not have Hollywood endings where everything ends well and they all live happy ever after.

I have seen three of his films and rate them all very high. I will see Ararat. It has to do with making a film about the Armenian genocide. It got very good critical reviews.
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Old 06-12-2003, 06:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Everybody should see The Sweet Hereafter



On a winter's day, in the small rural community of Sam Dent, British Columbia, a school bus inexplicably crashes into a frozen lake, taking the lives of fourteen children and injuring many others. Shortly thereafter, Mitchell Stephens (Ian Holm), a big city lawyer, comes to the community with promises to compensate its citizens for their loss.

With a view to mounting a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the accident victims, Stephens interviews the survivors of the crash and the families who are mourning the deaths of their children. Through a series of emotionally charged meetings, we are presented with a prismatic view of the accident and its impact on the town. At the same time, through the interviews and a series of flashbacks, we discover disturbing secrets which reveal that, in some ways, the community was already on the road to losing its children.


With his assured presence and promises of retribution, Stephens earns the trust of the community and becomes the conduit for its anger and pain. Ironically, as Stephens builds his lawsuit, we discover that he too is a man in emotional turmoil, dealing with the virtual "loss" of his own daughter Zoe (Caerthan Banks) to drugs. Ultimately, it becomes clear that by trying to help the town through its crisis, Stephens is trying to find a solution to his own. In so doing, the lawyer, like the townspeople, is looking for the answer to the question: "how do you cope and whom do you blame?"

Among the key figures are Dolores Driscoll (Gabrielle Rose), the middle-aged school bus driver, who shares vivid memories of the children; Wanda and Hartley Otto (Arsinée Khanjian and Earl Pastko), parents to an adopted child lost in the accident; and Billy Ansell (Bruce Greenwood), the widowed father of two children killed in the crash, and the secret lover of Risa Walker (Alberta Watson), the wife of Wendell Walker (Maury Chaykin), and the mother of another boy killed in the accident.


Finally, and most crucial to Stephens' case is the Burnell family: Sam and Mary (Tom McCamus and Brooke Johnson), and their teenage daughter Nicole (Sarah Polley), a beautiful young singer who survived the accident but will never walk again. As the prime witness, Nicole holds the key to the class-action suit, but as we learn more of her personal history and of the disturbing relationships within her own family, we see that there is mystery and more than one sorrow below the thin veneer of what appears to be a tightly-woven community.

As the community's secrets threaten to surface, Stephens finds his diligently woven case spiraling out of control. Finally, through an act of extraordinary bravery and moral clarity, Nicole puts a halt to the community's anguish, and her own.

Russell Banks is the celebrated author of The Sweet Hereafter and eleven other books of fiction, including Rule of the Bone, Continental Drift, Affliction, The Book of Jamaica, Success Stories, The Relation of My Imprisonment, The New World, Trailer Park, Hamilton Spark, Family Life and Searching for Survivors.

Among the many prizes and awards Banks has received are the Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships, the O. Henry and Best American Short Story Awards, the John Dos Passos Prize, and the Literature Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Continental Drift was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1986, and Affliction was short-listed for both the PEN/Faulkner Fiction Prize and the Irish International Prize.


Raised in New Hampshire and eastern Massachusetts, Banks is the eldest of four children. He grew up in a working class environment and was the first member of his family to go to college. This background has played a major role in Banks' writing. His books are often populated by working class heroes and anti-heroes, and recount tales of poverty, violence, unemployment, hard living and domestic abuse. Yet while his subject matter is often dark, Banks has been praised for his empathy and compassion towards his characters, and his attempts to grapple with the moral ambiguities of contemporary life.

Banks has contributed poems, stories and essays to The New York Times Book Review, Vanity Fair, Esquire, Harper's, The Boston Globe Magazine, and many other publications. He has taught writing at Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, the University of Alabama, New England College, New York University and Princeton University (where he is currently teaching creative writing as the Howard G.B. Clark Professor in the Humanities).
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Old 06-12-2003, 06:20 PM   #7
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Mr. deep always recommends good movies
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