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

My Photo
Location: milwaukee, wi

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Speaking Parts (Atom Egoyan, 1989)

Another early (by which I mean pre-Exotica) Egoyan film, Speaking Parts falls between Family Viewing and The Adjuster in his filmography, and represents a logical bridge between the two. Egoyan's early obsession with the videotaped image and voyeurism is here in full effect. The story revolves around Lance, a struggling actor who works at a hotel as both housekeeping and the hotel manager's personal gigolo. Lisa (Arsinee Khanjian, whom I am now convinced is never bad) is Lance's coworker and is desperately in love with him, to the extent that she obsessively rents the movies in which Lance is an extra over and over to see his fleeting moments of fame. Clara is a writer who has written a tv movie and is staying at Lance and Lisa's hotel; Lance slips her his headshot, and gets himself an audition and an affair with Clara, although it is quickly clear to everyone but Clara that Lance is just using her to finally get a speaking part. These people's lives become more complex with their interactions with one another, and, as in Egoyan's films, their inner lives become more interesting than their actual interactions. There is also an interesting plot line about how Clara's script gets radically changed by the producers of the television movie, and what writers in the movie business go through, even to their most intimate, personal stories, as this one obviously is to Clara.

This is a turning point in Egoyan's filmmaking, I think. It represents to me a step toward the more mature, complex filmmaking that lies ahead, and also is better directed than his earlier efforts, which should be obvious but is impressive nonetheless. This is the first film (chronologically) of his that I was really impressed with the cinematography and composition. This film has a very interesting plot, and the performances are all pretty solid, but it's most interesting as a stepping stone in Egoyan's career. The films that are obsessed with video pretty much end with this one, but Egoyan keeps the voyeuristic elements and matures them after this film. Speaking Parts is a good, if a little dragging, exploration of obsessive love and what makes people who they are, and I definitely recommend it for people who like Egoyan as much as I do.


RIYL: Harold Pinter

Labels: ,

StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!

Comments on "Speaking Parts (Atom Egoyan, 1989)"


post a comment