A photographer and his wife take photographs of Armenian churches for use in a calendar. Their driver, a local resident, expounds on the history of the churches while the wife translates. ...
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Arnold L. Miller
Billy J. Kramer
An art student is thrown out of college. Depressed, he comes up with the Party of Dynamic Erection, a near-fascist "party" that promotes male sexual dominance, and which attracts a couple of other unsavory confused characters.
A photographer and his wife take photographs of Armenian churches for use in a calendar. Their driver, a local resident, expounds on the history of the churches while the wife translates. The photographer becomes jealous of his wife's bonding with the driver. In a series of flash-forwards, the photographer stages identical dinners with several women, who pretend to talk on the phone while he writes. His wife, now estranged from him, leaves repeated messages on his answering machine, asking why he never contacts her. Yet another thought-provoking look into strange, intertwined relationships from the always enigmatic Egoyan.
Egoyan's experiment in story structure is fascinating and poignant.
This is a wonderful little film that I recently saw on a friend's recommendation, knowing virtually nothing about it except that I'd immensely enjoyed Atom Egoyan's "Exotica" and "the Sweet Hereafter". "Calendar" is not nearly as tragic as those two films; it concerns itself with the sadness of the disintegration of a relationship, but there is a subtle comedy to the film as well. The film is an experiment with a very specific, rigid, yet somehow apt structure: the film has twelve segments, one for each page of a beautiful calendar hanging by its photographer's phone. Laced into this structure is the story of the photographer and his wife's trip to Armenia, and the conflict that arises out of their different reactions to being in the land of their ancestry. It's all very well-told, and even though there is an element of inevitability, reinforced by the structure, the film never really strays into the realm of predictability. Finally, there are moments when the film seems to toy with breaking the sanctity of the fourth wall. This goes beyond the fact that the photographer and his wife are actually played by Mr. Egoyan and his wife. It's impossible to describe briefly and without spoiling the humor, though. If you're intrigued, check it out! You'll be glad.
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