Films such as "The Adjuster", "Calendar" and "Speaking Parts" established Canadian Armenian director Atom Egoyan as a leading contender for being the worlds most alluring post-modern filmmaker. In these and other films the distortions and perversions of the self are mirrored through an omnipresent (and sexualised) visual media culture. Through the filter of a compassionate detachment his work is an unparalleled probing of identity and alienation, sexuality and dysfunction, psychology and subjectivity. Critic Jonathan Romney traces Egoyan's career, film by film - from his early shorts, through the video-themed features that made his name, to his emergence as prize-winning A list auteur with "The Sweet Hereafter" and the wider canvasses of his most recent films "Felicia's Journey" and "Ararat". The author shows how films such as Egoyan's "Exotica" (set in a strip club and structured like a striptease) offer their viewers rich, almost inexhaustibly complex pleasures and demonstrate the craft of one of contemporary cinema's most provocative auteurs.
Jonathan Romney is Film Critic of the Independent on Sunday and regular contributor to Sight and Sound and Film Comment. He is the author of Short Orders, a book of collected criticism, and co-editor of Celluloid Jukebox (BFI), a survey of popular music and the movies.
Introduction 1. Next of Kin 2. Family Viewing 3. Speaking Parts 4. The Adjuster 5. Calendar 6. Exotica 7. The Sweet Hereafter 8. Felicia's Journey 9. The Beckett Cycle 10. Ararat