[ The Nucleus ||
All About Atom ||
Feature Films ||
The Company He Keeps ||
The Richard Strauss opera was Atom Egoyan's first experience with the form. With its themes of sexual obsession, the story of Salome was well suited to treatment by Egoyan. Employing a contemporary setting for the production, Atom was able to make use of the regular tools of his trade. Live video and film were incorporated into the opera, with a crucial scene performed behind projected images. The title character, portrayed traditionally as an evil seductress, was transformed into a more sympathetic character. A popular and critical success, it was staged originally for the Toronto based Canadian Opera Company in the fall of 1996. A revival was staged at the Vancouver Opera in November 1997, and then again at the Houston Grand Opera early in 1998.
A new chamber opera for which Atom has written the libretto, Elsewhereless is a collaboration with Canadian composer Rodney Sharman. For the story, which takes place in Africa, Egoyan reworked a play he wrote shortly after graduating from college. A project several years in the making, the work premiered in April, 1998, at the Tapestry Music Theatre in Toronto. The production, directed by Atom, will be remounted twice after its initial run, first in Ottawa, then in Vancouver in the spring of 1999.
Doctor Ox's Experiment
Atom directed the original production of this new opera by cutting edge British composer Gavin Bryars. The work, based on a short story by Jules Verne, premiered in London in June of 1998, and was produced by the English National Opera.
Howard In Particular (1979)
Made during his first year in college, the central event in this fourteen-minute film is the dismissal of a longtime employee of a fruit cocktail manufacturer. The film serves as a precursor to Egoyan's later work in which the presence of technology plays so important a role. In it, the company uses a tape recording to inform the worker of his fate. Atom himself portrayed the faceless corporate voice on the tape. Howard In Particular was screened and won an award at the Canadian National Exhibition film festival.
After Grad With Dad (1980)
The story of this film concerns the very awkward half-hour encounter between a young man and his girlfriend's father. After mistakenly showing up too early to pick up his date, the flustered young man necessarily makes small talk with his unintended companion.
Peep Show (1981)
In this seven-minute film, images which interfere with expectations prove to be a disruptive force. A man enters a private booth in a sex store for a quick turn-on, only to be shown pictures of himself. He becomes aggravated by what he sees, even with the additional imagery of a woman undressing.
Open House (1982)
A couple is shown a run-down home by a man posing as a real estate agent. The man's pretense is shown to be a way of trying to validate the worth of his own family, which shared happier times earlier in the house's history. This twenty-five minute film was Atom's first to receive assistance from the Ontario Arts Council. The CBC bought the rights to Open House, and then aired it as part of a series entitled Canadian Perspectives.
Men: A Passion Playground (1985)
A response to the excesses present in rock videos, this seven-minute short features poet Gail Harris reciting from atop a piece of playground equipment. While she describes the features of ideal males, a representative group of them prostrate themselves below her.
Episode 4: En Passant (1992)
This twenty-minute segment is Atom's contribution to Montréal vu par . . . six variation sur un thème, a compilation of shorts by different directors made as a tribute to the city of Montreal. In English, the anthology is known as Montreal Sextet. Egoyan's episode is entitled En Passant, which translates to "while passing". It concerns the activities of a Customs Official and a newly arrived visitor to Montreal. The visitor becomes the subject in one of a series of drawings by the official, and the two almost encounter each other while the visitor explores the sites of the city.
A Portrait of Arshile (1995)
The BBC sought out several international directors to create individual four-minute films, with each focusing on a particular painting. This compendium of short films is called Picture House. Atom and his wife, Arsinée Khanjian, had recently become new parents. Having named their son after Armenian painter Arshile Gorky, A Portrait of Arshile is structured as a letter to the director's son, with his parents explaining the significance of his namesake. The artwork used as the focal point for the film is "Portrait of the Artist and His Mother", which Gorky completed in 1936.
Bach Cello Suite #4: Sarabande (1997)
This nearly hour-long movie is Egoyan's contribution to Inspired By Bach, a series of six films featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma collaborating with different artists to explore new interpretations of the six Bach Cello Suites. In Sarabande, Yo-Yo Ma (playing himself) arrives in Toronto, amidst a certain amount of confusion, to perform in concert and teach a master class. In various time frames, parallel story lines develop involving a dying physician, the young female doctor taking over his practice, the old doctor's real estate agent, her boyfriend, Yo-Yo Ma, and his limosine driver. The characters come into contact with Bach's suite at various times and under different circumstances. All of them experience an emotional transformation, related to the depth of their relationship with the music and each other.
In This Corner (1985)
This hour-long movie was written by Paul Gross, future star of the television series, Due South. Produced for the CBC, it concerns a Canadian-Irish boxer who assists the IRA in concealing a terrorist so the man can return to Ireland.
Friday the 13th: The Series (1987)
Directed Cupid's Quiver episode.
Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1987-88)
Directed episodes entitled The Final Twist, and There Was A Lonely Girl.
Looking For Nothing (1988)
The New Twilight Zone (1988)
Directed The Wall episode.
Gross Misconduct (1993)
Atom directed this made-for-television movie about the rough and tumble career of hockey player, Brian "Spinner" Spencer.
All About Atom ||
Feature Films ||
The Company He Keeps ||
Back to The Nucleus