16
Mar
10

on egoyan’s “exotica”

jonathan rosenbaum

Exotica has plenty to say about the modern world, including the psychological, social, and racial (even colonial) ramifications of “exotic” sexual tastes, but class difference isn’t a significant part of its agenda either. The personal and professional links forged between individuals — and there are very few relationships in this movie that aren’t both personal and professional — all seem predicated on forms of barter, as well as the assumption that everyone is, or eventually becomes, either a substitute for a missing family member or a virtual double for someone else. Within such a context, where the private and the public intersect as often as the personal and the professional, money is merely the glue, yet it always seems to tarnish the authenticity of the relationships of those involved.

egoyan’s films are not easy viewing, and will make most uncomfortable at times.

but what they say about viewing, and the ambient nausea surrounding all relationships, are what makes his work distinctive and reward multiple, er, viewings.

this film, the adjuster & the sweet hereafter are essential, though all except where the truth lies are worth a look.

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2 Responses to “on egoyan’s “exotica””


  1. March 24, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Exotica is the type of film that stays with you over the years with varying degrees of intensity. It’s always a real treat for me to go back and watch it again, though nothing can approximate the feeling of seeing it for the first time, which is such a bummer. It’s fantastic, complex and difficult. Like a great film should be!

  2. 2 underpass
    March 24, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    thanks for the comment. always nice to know someone’s out there.

    cheers,
    gordon


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