Borderlands (Zev Berman, 2007): 6.5/10

The Magic Flute (Ingmar Bergman, 1975): 7/10

La Guerre Est Finie (Alain Resnais, 1966): 7/10

Speed Racer (The Wachowski Brothers, 2008): 8/10

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Next of Kin (Atom Egoyan, 1984)

Another entry in my Atom Egoyan fest, Next of Kin is Egoyan's first feature, shot on basically nothing, yet is pretty impressive. Peter lives at home, doing nothing, and his parents eventually decide to take him to family therapy. Through his favorite activity, pretending, he finds the file of an Armenian family who gave their son up for adoption at a very young age, and are still grieving the loss. Peter decides to meet up with the family, and pretend to be the long-lost Bedros. While Peter is lily-white and bears no resemblance to the family (parents George and Sonya and daughter Azah), their willingness to believe is so strong that they welcome him with open arms. Although there is some sexual tension between Peter and Azah (she probably realizes he's lying, but never acknowledges it outright), he becomes a part of the family, and a unifying part at that. The ending of the story is appropriate and not very predictable, and the performances are all pretty strong.

My favorite part about this DVD, though, was the amazing commentary by Egoyan himself. If I respected the talent of this man before, I respect his eloquence and intelligence even more now. The commentary is everything an interesting commentary should be: intelligent, interesting, funny, and inspiring. Egoyan isn't afraid to tear apart his first film, pointing out his faults and stubbornness as a first-time director, yet encouraging new filmmakers at the same time. I would encourage anyone interested in films or making films to listen to this commentary, as it's really the kind you hope for with such an intelligent, interesting film.

8/10 (including the commentary)

RIYL: Exotica

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