Essential Egoyan (1984)
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NEXT OF KIN: Peter, a young WASP, is having problems with his family. Undergoing video-therapy with his tyrannical parents, he comes across the video tapes of a troubled Armenian family, who twenty years earlier gave up their infant son to a foster home. With inspired lunacy, Peter is determined to… More NEXT OF KIN: Peter, a young WASP, is having problems with his family. Undergoing video-therapy with his tyrannical parents, he comes across the video tapes of a troubled Armenian family, who twenty years earlier gave up their infant son to a foster home. With inspired lunacy, Peter is determined to become this family's long lost son.FAMILY VIEWING: Faced with his own overwhelming feelings of alienation, and the emotional havoc wreaked by the fact that he is sleeping with his vapid stepmother, young Van leaves home for good. His first stop is the retirement community where Dad exiled his grandmother. At the complex, he meets Aline, an unlikely friend of his grandma's, who works for a phone sex service. Van moves in with Aline, but things get complicated again when his lascivious father becomes one of Aline's most frequent callers.SPEAKING PARTS: A lonely hotel maid in love with a movie extra obsessively watches his films on video. Meanwhile, the same actor, desperate for a speaking part, romances a screenwriter who is scripting a TV movie about the life of her dead brother. The attempt of these three characters to fulfill their desires through various forms of video technology is the subject of this super-cool essay on alienation in the video age by Canadian independent director Atom Egoyan.CALENDAR: A Canadian photographer and his wife, both of Armenian descent, travel to their homeland so he can take pictures for a calendar. Though he manages to print 12 beautiful photographs, his marriage falls apart during the assignment. Now alone and lonely, the photographer proceeds to romance a different person each month, but during their dinner dates, he has each woman make an erotically-charged telephone call to another person. Come November, he is pleasantly surprised to discover that his new lover is also Armenian, and for the first time since his divorce, he does not want a third party called for stimulation. But just as he and his girlfriend begin to understand their parallel pasts, his beloved ex-wife -- whose videos and phone messages he obsessively replays -- calls with details of just how and when she cheated on him...The set also includes three rare shorts and a documentary by Egoyan.
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