Sunday, April 26, 2009

exotica: canadian film review.

I really enjoyed Atom Egoyan's Exotica (1994), I found it to be a very interesting story line that at no point spoon fed the audience. The narrative focuses on a nightclub in Toronto and it's owners, patrons and primary dancer (played by my favorite - Jennifer Connelly) and their intermingling plots. This is an excellent reflection of Canadian film in so many ways. Our ability to tackle the “exotic” if you will.

The story overlaps then breaks apart and re mingles connecting the dots. -Exotica both teases and in a sense educates- stripping away the layers. Healing and therapy are also major themes: “this place is for entertainment- healing should be sought elsewhere” Zoe. Watching the girls soothe clients soothes him too” in regards to Eric.

There is a considerable stretch of time elapses before its coolly juxtaposed scenes start to clearly connect mobilizing suspense. Egoyan uses ritual and repetition, from words spoken to actions made to images shown. Like a mirror image they repeat themselves,sometimes even doubling- like Thomas visiting the club for Francis whose fantasy investment in he club makes presence there a necessity even if it’s through a double.
The viewed object is not only taboo- a hand repeatedly blocks the camera’s view of a grainy clip finally revealed to be revealed as one of Lisa and her mother- too precious to touch. Exotica rehearses the concern with touch
Everybody Knows- you can look but you can’t touch”

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