Author by : Jennifer Burwell
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Publisher by : Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press
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Description : In a culture that often understands formal experimentation or theoretical argument to be antithetical to pleasure, Atom Egoyan has nevertheless consistently appealed to wide audiences around the world. If films like The Adjuster, Calendar, Exotica, and The Sweet Hereafter have ensured him international cult status as one of the most revered of all contemporary directors, Egoyan's forays into installation art and opera have provided evidence of his versatility and confirmed his talents. Throughout his career, Atom Egoyan has shown himself to possess the rarest kind of singularity. As Jonathan Romney puts it, Egoyanþs 2preoccupations and tropes have been so consistent that he's practically created his own genre3 (1995, 8). Hrag Vartanian adds, 2Egoyanesque has become a word to film aficionados, commonly understood to mean a cinematic moment that examines sexuality, technology and alienation in the modern world3 (2004). For this singularity, Egoyan is widely hailed as a true auteur, ƯƯsomeone carrying on the legacy of the European art-house traditions of Bergman, Godard, and Truffaut. Certainly, his work bears a most recognizable signatureƯƯthere is no confusing an Egoyan work with anyone elseþs. Like his art-house predecessors, Egoyan clearly intends that his work be, as Dudley Andrew puts it, 2read rather than consumed,3 that is, viewed meditatively, reflected upon, and discussed (2000, 24). And indeed, in this world in which filmmaking has become commonplacewhere, as Egoyan has said, 2what used to be a rarified activity is now available to anyone with a digital camera and a computer3 (2001b, 18) he intends through much of his work to recall an earlier image culture in which artists had an ability to produce something that gained its power precisely through its rarity.