Canadian Cinema

The Sweet Hereafter, 1997

Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter is a serenely powerful, deeply moving tale of loss and healing. At the heart of the tragedy is a school bus accident in a small Canadian town, resulting in the death of fourteen children. First, we meet Mitchell Stephens (Ian Holm), a tort lawyer who comes into town in order… read more »

Calendar, 1993

A sputtering automobile slowly traverses an irregular dirt road on the side of a hill towards an ancient church on the summit (in a spare and elegant long shot that evokes the opening sequence to Andrei Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia) amidst the elegiac sounds of a rhythmic, traditional chant. Inside the lumbering vehicle, a pragmatic and dedicated… read more »

Speaking Parts, 1989

Speaking Parts opens to a curious and baffling sequence of fragmented images, beginning with the medium shot of a lone, dark haired woman, later identified as Clara (Gabrielle Rose), as she makes her way through a cemetery that immediately cuts to an image of another lone, dark haired woman, Lisa (ArsinĂ©e Khanjian), a hotel laundry… read more »

Next of Kin, 1984

A pensive and aimless young man named Peter Foster (Patrick Tierney) lies on his bed listening to his parents’ all too frequent arguments and, attempting to drown out their incessant bickering, turns up the stereo, shuts his eyes, and retreats into his own private and impenetrable world. Concerned over her son’s seemingly frequent disconnection from… read more »