For two decades, Toronto-based filmmaker Atom Egoyan has written and directed challenging and often disturbing features that confirm his position right on the cutting edge of world cinema. All his features reveal a remarkably consistent set of obsessions: identity, sexuality, ethnicity, transgression, the family, and the ways in which we all use different media (film, photography, video) to construct our realities.
Showing here in a beautiful new print, Egoyan’s 1991 masterpiece is his most dream-like film and also his most elaborate questioning of the difference between what people do and who they are. Noah Render (Elias Koteas) is an insurance adjuster who rushes to people’s aid when their houses burn down, and can’t help getting involved with them. His fragile home life with his film censor wife (Arsinee Khanjian) is disturbed by the arrival of Bubba and Mimi, a wealthy couple who spend their time orchestrating elaborate erotic charades.
A complex jigsaw structure teases out the ambiguities of a fiction in which even the illusions aren’t quite what they appear to be. 1991. Colour. Anamorphic. Dolby stereo. 100 mins.