While most everyone seems to be packing their bags and heading home on Atom Egoyan’s Where the Truth Lies some of us here at RS are still wrestling with it. As it should be–Egoyan is still one of the world’s pre-eminent filmmakers, and every time he steps up to the plate, whether he hits a home run or strikes out, it’s always worth taking a close look at his swing.
clarencecarter: so, I saw the Egoyan – yeah, not so great. But I love it
eshman: you’re being contrarian in that devilish way. The movie’s painful
clarencecarter: I wrote a little about it today…I had a lot of fun. even though every time alison lohman opens her mouth the movie dies
eshman: i like that you dwelled on that moment where she sits across from the old Egoyan cast members. it’s the only genuinely bizarre moment, and all it does is remind us of what he could and should be doing…
clarencecarter: yeah, i think he’s trying to turn that moment into something, but the movie never quite makes it
eshman: Lohman’s stuck with unsalvageable dialogue
eshman: and i think it would be better if she didn’t even try.
eshman: which shows you how corrupt it was from the outset
clarencecarter: I think Barbara Stanwyck could’ve made something out of that role
clarencecarter: I just think Lohman was dealt a hand she couldn’t quite deal with and folded
eshman: perhaps, but the “White Rabbit” sequence? how fall-down-flat is that?
clarencecarter: okay, I’ll grant that: the rabbit scene – ugh
eshman: that White Rabbit bit reminded me of the Art History discussion in Ararat.
clarencecarter: I still think Ararat‘s the lesser of the two.
eshman: but at least there’s passion and conflict at its heart
clarencecarter: sort of, but I feel like if one of the two gives a sense like it’s going through the motions, it’s Ararat. that’s the movie he “should/needed” to make. Truth Lies…how the hell does Egoyan decide to take this on? It immediately reeks of an ill-fitting glove situation, in a good way.
eshman: i know. but it does seem poorly calculated to deliver him to a “wider audience”
eshman: i’m embarrassed for him
clarencecarter: oh me too, but not because I think he was really after the wide audience, more because he’s so in his own head that he just misses at the genre. it’s admirable in its way.
eshman: so why bother with genre?
eshman: why does every filmmaker think they need to do this?
eshman: do fiction writers interlope this much? no, they know better
clarencecarter: it’s like a dare – “maybe I’ll be the one who can swim out to sutter’s point without drowning.”
clarencecarter: they all sink though – and it’s good for them.