Speaking Parts

Speaking Parts

Director: Atom Egoyan

Cast: Atom Egoyan, Michael McManus, Arsinée Khanjian, Gabrielle Rose

     
 

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"In my films, you're always encouraged to remember that you're watching a collection of designed images." Thus spake Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan in describing his calculatedly non-realistic style. In keeping with his earlier works, Egoyan's Speaking Parts, though grounded in reality, could never be confused with the facts of life. Arsinee Khanjian plays a

Overview

"In my films, you're always encouraged to remember that you're watching a collection of designed images." Thus spake Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan in describing his calculatedly non-realistic style. In keeping with his earlier works, Egoyan's Speaking Parts, though grounded in reality, could never be confused with the facts of life. Arsinee Khanjian plays a near-somnambulistic maid who carries a torch for aspiring actor Michael McManus. She obsesses on McManus by renting tapes of the films in which he's appeared as a non-speaking extra. As McManus ignores Khanjian while wooing would-be filmmaker Gabrielle Rose (he wants to star in a film based on Rose's life-saving organ donation), Khanjian develops a sort of rapport with video store manager Tony Nardi, who also harbors dreams of becoming a filmmaker. The most curious (and, to some, maddening) aspect of Speaking Parts is that all the characters physically resemble one another. What this has to do with Egoyan's "message"--if any--is unclear, but it sure works towards the director's goal of assuring that the viewers are constantly aware that they're watching a movie and not Real Life.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
The characters don't interact so much as bounce off one another like bumper cars in writer/director Atom Egoyan's dense meditation on voyeurism, obsession, and communication. The plot's many threads -- involving a bit-part actor (Michael McManus) who becomes the fixation of both a hotel maid (Arsinée Khanjian) and a screenwriter (Gabrielle Rose) -- ultimately aren't as important to Egoyan as the frissons his situations generate among the three emotionally starved loners. The director's beloved video motif is put to good use here, as each person finds solace only through the act of viewing another, whether through rented videotapes, home movies, or video conference calls. Though the deliberately stilted opening may frustrate those unfamiliar with the director's work, his deft cross-cutting in Speaking Parts's latter half gives the film an undeniable momentum and, ultimately, a philosophical gravity that lingers long after the film's end. Many of the themes exploited here would reappear in virtually all of Egoyan's latter work, including his U.S. breakthrough The Adjuster.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/26/2001
UPC:
0797575100135
Original Release:
1989
Rating:
NR
Source:
Zeitgeist Films
Sound:
[stereo]
Time:
1:32:00
Sales rank:
75,509

Special Features

Director's commentary; Interview with Atom Egoyan; Biography/filmography; Optional English and French subtitles; Motion menus; Deleted scenes; Image gallery

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael McManus Lance
Arsinée Khanjian Lisa
Gabrielle Rose Clara
David Hemblen Producer
Patricia Collins Housekeeper
Gerard Parkes Father
Jackie Samuda Bride
Peter Krantz Groom
Aidan Tierney Actor
Tony Nardi Eddy
Robert Dodds Doctor
Sharon Corder Hotel Manager
David Mckay Man at the Party
Cindy Fidler Women at the Party

Technical Credits
Atom Egoyan Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Mychael Danna Score Composer
Bruce McDonald Editor
Linda Del Rosario Production Designer
Paul Sarossy Cinematographer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits [5:26]
2. Housekeeping [2:39]
3. Obsession [4:04]
4. Just an Extra [2:54]
5. At the Hotel [2:30]
6. Production Meeting [2:48]
7. Audition [4:51]
8. Taking Chances [1:19]
9. Running Late [5:47]
10. Keeping Distance [1:13]
11. Stay in Touch [4:16]
12. The Party [6:25]
13. Script Revisions [4:31]
14. The Wedding [5:24]
15. Bridal Interview [8:31]
16. Suicide [7:06]
17. Cut Out [2:02]
18. Hallucinations [1:36]
19. Demands [5:30]
20. New Scenes [10:33]
21. End Credits [1:59]

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