Post Your Opinion
Brief Reviews
by Stan Fogel

MAKING A BOOK from a movie may be as gross a misconduct to some as an Atom Egoyan film script with the line, "He shoots, he scores." Nonetheless, two of Canada`s premier directors, Egoyan and David Cronenberg, seem as at home on the page as they do on the set. Cronenberg, in Cronenberg on Cronenberg (1992), chronicled his love of literature, most notably William Burroughs. Egoyan, for the most part, writes as well as directs his films; he begins his essay "Surface Tension," in Speaking Parts (Coach House, 176 pages, $19.95 paper), with a quotation from Paul Virilio: Each surface is an interface between two environments that is ruled by a constant activity in the form of an exchange between the two substances placed in contact with one another. It is Egoyan`s acute sense that film and video should and do make complex the seeming surface of character. His is the highly selfreflexive talent that, if it didn`t record itself on camera, would have recorded itself in print. Soon, no doubt, sophisticated Canadian cinema will produce a child prodigy who enters the mirror stage of development with a camcorder, taping his or her chubby emergence into separation and selfhood. Speaking Parts` written parts make for an interesting, eclectic collection. There is an introduction by Ron Burnett that subjects the film to the kind of scrutiny non-postmodern people reserve for literature. Egoyan`s own essay thoughtfully engages the consequences of the medium that are themselves major focuses of his movies. Marc Glassman interviews Egoyan at some length. Egoyan`s screenplay for Speaking Parts (the film) is reproduced. The collection ends with a filmography, augmented by the recently released Calendar. In the course of his interview Egoyan mentions that his hope is for a viewer to be "involved in all the levels of contradiction and all the levels of complexity" of even one of the scenes in Speaking Parts. This book, perhaps, reveals the unfortunate irony that one has to read this book and then see the Egoyan film to allow the film to make its full impact.

Home First Novel Award Past Winners Subscription Back Issues Timescroll Advertizing Rates
Amazon.ca/Books in Canada Bestsellers List Books in Issue Books in Department About Us