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‘Chloe’ by Atom Egoyan: Architecture porn? “Stinker”? Faux–“erotic thriller”?
March 29, 2010 9:33 AM   Subscribe

Toronto Critics Praise Egoyan Stinker” blares the headline at Onion manqué URNews. They’re talking about Chloe (IMDB; official site), the new film by Canadian cinéaste Atom Egoyan that opened on 2,400 fewer U.S. screens than Hot Tub Time Machine. Critics are focussing on how Toronto plays itself for once – in the Globe and Mail, the irascible Liam Lacey panned the picture, then talked mostly about buildings and settings. Architecture porn... or lesbian porn? “Chloe turns from quiet family drama to loudly awful erotic thriller” is one gloss, but let’s let Choire Sicha adjudicate: “There is no less crude way to put this. Julianne Moore can act with her bosom.… The movie of course ends in absolute hysterics. Charles Busch couldn’t have plotted it better were he writing a sequel to Vampire Lesbians of Sodom.”

And what about that frosty, Unhappy Hipsters–compliant Modernist house Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson live in? In a dizzying case of recursion, Egoyan told the bible of the “dumb rich,” Toronto Life: “Funny you should ask. I first saw it in Toronto Life and then tracked it down. It’s near St. Clair and Bathurst. It’s a very modern, signature Toronto style, with all the wood and glass. Thematically, I liked that the huge windows made it transparent.”
posted by joeclark (133 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
what
posted by brain_drain at 9:35 AM on March 29, 2010 [16 favorites]


That URnews.ca thing is somehow distantly related to the subject of another Metafilter post a few years ago.
posted by the dief at 9:41 AM on March 29, 2010


I actually knew what the first comment in this thread would say before I clicked through. Amazing.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:42 AM on March 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


You know, Hot Tub Time Machine has a respectable if-not-great 62% on Rotten Tomatoes, and word of mouth is that it's a reasonably fun watch if you;re up for goofy fun of a particular kind. So while it's not a lost Kubrick masterpiece it's kind of weird that it;s the new catch phrase for "worst and dumbest thing ever".

That said, it is called "Hot Tub Time Machine".

/here ends the defence of dumb sounding movie i have not seen.

And what about that frosty, Unhappy Hipsters–compliant Modernist house Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson live in?

Okay, if my wife finds out about that she'll probably want to see the thing.
posted by Artw at 9:43 AM on March 29, 2010


In case you missed it in the last thread it was used in: Manque.
posted by josher71 at 9:44 AM on March 29, 2010


I went to see HTTS this weekend, and I liked it.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:44 AM on March 29, 2010


HTTM.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:44 AM on March 29, 2010


HTTP (urinalysis pending).
posted by joeclark at 9:46 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


“There is no less crude way to put this. Julianne Moore can act with her bosom.… The movie of course ends in absolute hysterics. Charles Busch couldn’t have plotted it better were he writing a sequel to Vampire Lesbians of Sodom"

I'd go see it on that recommendation alone. That play was a hell of a lot of fun. The NYT said it best in their initial review: "...this kind of campy show that transforms everything it touches attracts audiences that could take over and finish the performance if the cast walked out in the middle."
posted by zarq at 9:46 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Look, Egoyan gives Elias Koteas work, or he did, and Elias Koteas had the best role in Some Kind of Wonderful.

Also, his first couple of movies actually were pretty novel examinations of what it meant for regular folks to have access to video taping technology.

But I haven't seen anything since Calendar.

And, I'll be honest, I have kind of weird thing for Elias Koteas, whose face is all smooshy in a way that makes me giggle.
posted by OmieWise at 9:47 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can we all say what we think this post is about?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:47 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I went to see HTTS this weekend, and I liked it.

I was hoping for HTTDelorean
posted by zarq at 9:47 AM on March 29, 2010




New MeFi patron saint Roger Ebert gives this Chloe movie 3.5/4
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:48 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: A Kind of Onion Manqué Run by the Swiss.

I can’t believe I am engaging in memesis. I am usually above that sort of thing. As Atom Egoyan would be, surely; just last weekend I saw him walking under the bridge at Summerhill (yes, accompanied by the “actress” frequently starring in his pictures).
posted by joeclark at 9:49 AM on March 29, 2010


New MeFi patron saint Roger Ebert gives this Chloe movie 3.5/4

What?
posted by edbles at 9:50 AM on March 29, 2010


Anyway, I haven't seen this movie, but much of the criticism I've seen about it seems to boil down to how "this sort of thing" should be reserved for late-night Cinemax, which honestly seems like such a lame, fuddy-duddy kind of former-Catholic-school-boy take on stories about sex that I don't know what to say about it at all. Are we not allowed to have those? Because, you know, it's a pretty big part of life, that whole sex thing.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:51 AM on March 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


"There are two good reasons to see Atom Egoyan's erotic thriller Chloe (Sony Pictures Classics): Amanda Seyfried naked and Julianne Moore naked."

4 good reasons.
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:52 AM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


> So they could have called it "Naked and Moore Naked"
posted by chavenet at 9:53 AM on March 29, 2010


Can we all say what we think this post is about?

Sex Sells. Film at 11.

No, really. That's when it starts.
posted by zarq at 9:55 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Vampire Lesbians of Sodom

Sign me ... up?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:55 AM on March 29, 2010


In case anyone else is wondering (as I was): turns out that Lesbian Architecture really is a thing, but not anything like the thing I thought it might be.
posted by vanar sena at 9:56 AM on March 29, 2010


Early in the film, talking with a patient uncertain about her sex life, [Moore's character] explains that an orgasm is a simple muscular contraction, quite natural, nothing to be frightened of or made mysterious.

VAGINA.
posted by Madamina at 9:56 AM on March 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


Hot Tub Time Machine has some very funny moments. It's at least worth a rental.
posted by brundlefly at 9:57 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


That URnews.ca thing is somehow distantly related to the subject of another Metafilter post a few years ago.

Holy shit, I've meant to make a GE FPP ever since I joined, just I never got around to it and was scared that it would slam the archive site and then they'd take it down and there would be no GE for anyone to enjoy.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:58 AM on March 29, 2010


I love the simplicity of Hot Tub Time Machine's premise.
posted by Mister_A at 9:59 AM on March 29, 2010


I went to see HTTS this weekend, and I liked it.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:44 AM on March 29 [+] [!]


HTTM.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:44 AM on March 29 [+] [!]


HTTP (urinalysis pending).
posted by joeclark at 9:46 AM on March 29 [+] [!]


HTTPS

there, corrected that for you
posted by infini at 10:02 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Egoyan, a Canadian, has a Gallic casualness about above-the-waist nudity..."
-Slate Review

Yeah, because even though you're of Armenian-Egyptian descent and were raised in BC, if you're Canadian and don't lose your shit over boobies, it's gotta be a French thing.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:04 AM on March 29, 2010 [32 favorites]


Can we all say what we think this post is about?

Hypertext Transfer Protocol?
posted by Artw at 10:06 AM on March 29, 2010


Early in the film, talking with a patient uncertain about her sex life, [Moore's character] explains that an orgasm is a simple muscular contraction, quite natural, nothing to be frightened of or made mysterious.

It can be a natural, zesty enterprise.
posted by gompa at 10:07 AM on March 29, 2010 [12 favorites]


Or Hypertext Transfer Protocol SECURE for infini, because apparently he's going to be posting his passwords up here or something.
posted by Artw at 10:07 AM on March 29, 2010


You mean coitus?
posted by Scoo at 10:14 AM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Hot Tub Time Machine is the most causually misogynist popular entertainment I've seen in a while. Every female character is a bimbo shrew.
posted by roger ackroyd at 10:16 AM on March 29, 2010


Don't be fatuous, Roger.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:24 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Daily Beast says Chloe "is the campiest film of 2010," Slate says it's not campy enough.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:25 AM on March 29, 2010


I have great respect for Roger Ebert, but he writes a lot of bunny reviews these days.
posted by lukemeister at 10:29 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: a simple muscular contraction, quite natural, nothing to be frightened of or made mysterious.
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 10:32 AM on March 29, 2010


A friend of mine astutely observed that while the titular premise of Hot Tub Time Machine is pretty great, it would only become truly sublime if the time travel depended on no one leaving the time machine. So you get in, you can travel to any time period, but you're still trapped in a hot tub in the Kodiak Valley ski resort. You can look around from the hot tub, shout at passers-by if you see any, but you can't leave the hot tub, or you'll be snapped back to the present day. A rather Godot-like Hot Tub Time Machine, overall.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:41 AM on March 29, 2010 [14 favorites]


This thread is performance art. Well done everyone.
posted by ob at 10:44 AM on March 29, 2010


So... The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo... any good?
posted by Artw at 10:46 AM on March 29, 2010


He said titular premise
posted by found missing at 10:46 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


did i just undergo yet another sexchange op, artw? *flashes tits* *in a hot tub* *waves as time whooshes past* (thanks greg)
posted by infini at 10:47 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can we all say what we think this post is about?

I think it's about me rolling my eyes every time I see Choire Sicha's name, and not just because of the atrocious way his name is spelled.
posted by Copronymus at 10:48 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: I can’t believe I am engaging in memesis. I am usually above that sort of thing.
posted by benzenedream at 10:48 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


IT IS A CLEVERLY DISGUISED LADY GAGA POST, INNIT

Rah ma rama rama la la oooh la la la
posted by everichon at 10:49 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I have a thing for movie spoilers. I never even go to see movies any more and never know what's out or upcoming, but I LOVE reading about third act revelations, finding out the absurd secret motivations and carefully hidden backstories of characters I know nothing about, following trails of breadcrumbs I haven't picked up to conclusions that make no sense without the context. My partner is totally bewildered by it; I kind of relish how bizarre and Dada-esque the experience is, reading the very earnest outlining and cataloging of SECRETS! and FIGURES FROM THE PAST! and IT WAS THAT WAY ALL ALONG! and that apparently matter and have great weight, it all comes out in such a rushed, quick jumble and it's amazing to try and imagine the movie around it. I usually picture The Big Twist delivered in a single long monologue, Bond villain-style.

I spent like twenty solid minutes last Friday looking for the big twist spoiler for Chloe and came up short. Do you know how unusual that is, to not have a single movie critic spill it or for not even one unreliable kid boast on a message board about sneaking into a screening? How doubly unusual it is for a movie that so shamelessly baits the audience? I don't care that I can probably guess; I just want to know the details in all their sordid, hyper-dramatically writhing, possibly violent and totally irony-free glory. Please! Somebody!
posted by peachfuzz at 11:01 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Chloe is a sled.
posted by everichon at 11:02 AM on March 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


Okay, you asked for it. He was dead all along and didn't know it, and he had a penis.
posted by found missing at 11:03 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't parse this post (or the thread), but it did inspire me to add Hot Tub Time Machine to my Netflix queue.
posted by diogenes at 11:03 AM on March 29, 2010


Copronymous describes his username thus: “Literally, it means ‘Shit-named,’ and thus doubly notes that I can’t think of names to save my life.” People in frosted-glass Modernist houses shouldn’t throw stones shaped like the bosom of a strawberry blonde.
posted by joeclark at 11:04 AM on March 29, 2010


"Every female character is a bimbo shrew."

This is absolutely untrue.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 11:05 AM on March 29, 2010


Time Travel? Check. Naked Lipstick Lesbians? Check. Lady Gaga brought up? Check. All I need is Andrew W. K & Chad OchoCinco to pop up in the thread and I'll have incontrovertible proof that this post is actually from the future.

Metafilter: For Time Travelers, By Time Travelers.
posted by KingEdRa at 11:07 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I have great respect for Roger Ebert, but he writes a lot of bunny reviews these days.

Roger Ebert can write whatever the fuck he wants now. He's like a Homeric hero, lunging into death's maw with a grin on his face. When he dies, I hope he's burned on a pyre, his pallet carried into the flames on the shoulders of Russ Meyer's deep-bosomed daughters.
posted by felix betachat at 11:14 AM on March 29, 2010 [33 favorites]


Hot Tub Time Machine is the most causually misogynist popular entertainment I've seen in a while. Every female character is a bimbo shrew.

1. Neither of John Cusack's love interests is portrayed as a bimbo or a shrew, and that's like 2 of the 3 major female roles right there.

2. The film has lots of bimbos in it for sure, but so did movies like this that came out in the 80s. It's so totally an allusion to decades old awfulnesses like "Hot Dog: The Movie!"
posted by 23skidoo at 11:15 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


CHLOE KILLED SNAPE
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:16 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: For Time Travelers, By Time Travelers.

Well, it's about time, dammit.
posted by zarq at 11:17 AM on March 29, 2010


BTW, the movie in question is a loose remake of Nathalie.
posted by oraknabo at 11:19 AM on March 29, 2010


All right, I'm going to go, but it had better be campy.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:22 AM on March 29, 2010


no, no, you don't understand, its a bollywood 3 hour melodramatic tearjerker complete with kleenex
posted by infini at 11:22 AM on March 29, 2010


So, glancing at the reviews, this is basically a promissing Hitchcockian thriller for the first two thirds and then falls to peices at the end? Gah. Shutter Island and The Ghost Writer are both like that, it's really annoying. It's like no-one can do endings anymore.
posted by Artw at 11:22 AM on March 29, 2010


and the requisite 7 to 15 songs depending on who is counting and a happy ending etc (in a hot tub)
posted by infini at 11:23 AM on March 29, 2010


but first, the three hours of [insert average indian tv soap here which are frankly disgusting if you ask me]
posted by infini at 11:24 AM on March 29, 2010


What we want is Mahabharata in space in the style of Jack Kirby.
posted by Artw at 11:26 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Four or five months from now, when these finally make their way to the top of my netflix queue, I won't remember why a double feature of Chloe and Hot Tub Time Machine ever sounded like a great idea.

Not to mention that they'll be arriving right after Battlefield Earth.
posted by ook at 11:28 AM on March 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


I think this film would do well to include more giant good-natured flying pyrotechnic turtles.
posted by Mister_A at 11:29 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


What we want is Mahabharata in space in the style of Jack Kirby.

Seconded.
posted by everichon at 11:33 AM on March 29, 2010


So I'm going to throw Gentlemen Broncos and Jennifer's Body out there as the two films from 2009 that all critics hated and which are supposedly awful that I actually really enjoyed.

Worst film of 2009, by far: Nine.
posted by Artw at 11:33 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


From Ebert's review I get the feeling that he personally likes Egoyan (who, by all accounts, is an exceptionally nice character), as well as the three main actors involved, and that he simply doesn't have the heart of being the umpteenth critic to demolish "Chloe".
posted by Skeptic at 11:36 AM on March 29, 2010


I spent like twenty solid minutes last Friday looking for the big twist spoiler for Chloe and came up short

Rosebuds.
posted by CynicalKnight at 11:38 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


This FPP is like the perfect storm of things I'm fascinated by but still feel like I know nothing about. I like Choire Sicha's writing, but I have no idea how his name is pronounced. (and he's ...apparently gay too? I thought he was like Mr. New York Straight Guy who just liked writing about gay things?) I'm amazed that Amanda Seyfreid is turning into a star since I still see her as the talking set-dressing from Mean Girls. I have somehow never seen anything by Egoyan even though I think I've known his name forever. I don't understand Toronto or architecture at all (no way to elaborate) and somehow I was compelled to listen to the entire A.V. Club podcast about HTTM yesterday even though I have no desire to see it. And I still don't quite understand anything but the most basic HTTP.
posted by kittyprecious at 11:40 AM on March 29, 2010


what a straight line ...

you mean,

rosebud?

ctfy
posted by infini at 11:40 AM on March 29, 2010


That URnews.ca thing is somehow distantly related to the subject of another Metafilter post a few years ago.

This links to an old MeFi post about the Great Eastern, and when I clicked through my heart fluttered in my chest like a joyous bird.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:49 AM on March 29, 2010


What we want is Mahabharata in space in the style of Jack Kirby.

Kali, Kali
Give me your answer do...
posted by felix betachat at 11:49 AM on March 29, 2010


Yeah, because even though you're of Armenian-Egyptian descent and were raised in BC, if you're Canadian and don't lose your shit over boobies, it's gotta be a French thing.

And the boobies aren't even the Gallic type, neither.

The journalist may be being lazy, but Egoyan is definitely a bit Nouvelle Vague, isn't he?
posted by tigrefacile at 11:55 AM on March 29, 2010


Why is this post, and many others like it, written in a version of English that is a rough approximation of our own. It reads like it was written using a version of the English language from 90 years in the future that was reconstructed entirely from dialogue from Gossip Girl and an article about gender studies from a 1994 issue of Granta.

It's entirely possible that I'm illiterate, but passages like this:

"Critics are focussing on how Toronto plays itself for once – in the Globe and Mail, the irascible Liam Lacey panned the picture, then talked mostly about buildings and settings. Architecture porn... or lesbian porn? “Chloe turns from quiet family drama to loudly awful erotic thriller” is one gloss, but let’s let Choire Sicha adjudicate: “There is no less crude way to put this. Julianne Moore can act with her bosom.… The movie of course ends in absolute hysterics. "

required four Teamsters and a crowbar to help me unpack.

For example, why is Liam Lacey irascible? And if you already know she's irascible, then why is it noteworthy that she panned it? Wouldn't you expect someone who was professionally irascible to pan a movie? And who the fuck is Liam Lacey in the first goddamn place. And I'm not even sure 'gloss' means what you want it to mean here.

You took words my brain knew, but used them against me. You broke my literacy. Now I have to learn how to read all over again.

"One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish...Red fish, blue fish, old fish, new fish." Ahhhhhh....
posted by Pastabagel at 11:55 AM on March 29, 2010 [16 favorites]


Don't worry, ook. If you're anything like me you'll need to get so drunk to watch Battlefield Earth that everything for the following few days will be an ugly grey haze anyway.
posted by ecurtz at 12:02 PM on March 29, 2010


Hot Tub Time Machine is the most causually misogynist popular entertainment I've seen in a while. Every female character is a bimbo shrew.

I think you misspelled She's Out of my League.
posted by graventy at 12:03 PM on March 29, 2010


I challenge anyone to find something that presents women (or men, or the entire human race) more hatefully than Gossip Girl.
posted by Artw at 12:07 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


“Choire Sicha” is pronounced “Corey Sikka.” It is not pronounced “Kwahr Seesha.”
posted by joeclark at 12:10 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hot Tub Time Machine. There's something about that title. Every time I say it in my head, I get a little more depressed with each word.
posted by gurple at 12:10 PM on March 29, 2010


I'm not surprised it's getting panned. Egoyan seems to suffer when operating with high-budget productions (see: Where The Truth Lies ... and by see I mean, um, don't).

I think the reason Egoyan has trouble with Hollywood budgets is due to the contrast between the structured, corporate system of Hollywood and the experimental tradition found in Canadian film cooperatives (where he learned his craft) that also demand a great deal of entrepreneurial financing from their filmmakers. This is not to say that Egoyan is some kind of auteur purist, as he's gladly taken on commercial projects since his early days, particularly in television, but his commercial efforts are never as aesthetically awesome as his non-commercial stuff.
posted by Menomena at 12:11 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


tigrefacile: And the boobies aren't even the Gallic type, neither. "

Boobies are different in France? I am soooooooo sheltered.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:11 PM on March 29, 2010


Checking Metacritic, the ten highest ratings for this movie (Chloe) are from


Chicago Sun Times- 88
St Louis Post- 75
Globe and Mail- 75
San Francisco Chronicle- 75
The Hollywood Reporter- 70
Portland Oregonian- 67
New York Observer- 63

So clearly Americans like the boobs too.
posted by dogbusonline at 12:14 PM on March 29, 2010


I don't get the big hoopla over boobs--it's not exactly new for Egoyan. Off the top of my head, there's the lesbian scene in Where The Truth Lies -- a wee bit disturbing NOT BECAUSE IT'S SEXUAL but because they're both high out of their minds, one girl is dressed up like Alice from Alice in Wonderland, and other, more insidious spoiler reasons -- and another memorable one is in The Adjuster where the main protagonist, an insurance adjuster, tries to discuss an insurance claim with his client while he's fucking her. Also disturbing, but also... hilarious.
posted by Menomena at 12:24 PM on March 29, 2010


Aw man. Egoyan is one of my regulars at the shop. So much for making eye contact ever again.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 12:30 PM on March 29, 2010


So this is a movie about architecture and titties?
posted by delmoi at 12:34 PM on March 29, 2010


SPOILER ALERT: DARTH VADER IS LUKE'S ROSEBUD!
posted by zippy at 12:37 PM on March 29, 2010


Copronymous describes his username thus: “Literally, it means ‘Shit-named,’ and thus doubly notes that I can’t think of names to save my life.” People in frosted-glass Modernist houses shouldn’t throw stones shaped like the bosom of a strawberry blonde.

Yet you'll notice that once I decided on my terrible name, I went with the most aesthetically pleasing spelling variation, and not Kopronumos or Κοπρώνυμος, or, God help us, Chauprhounniemuss. I'm not asking that he find a name less dumb than Corey, just that he not inflict this sort of "ghoti-is-pronounced-fish" stuff on us.

Plus, dude wrote for Gawker, so I believe the Law of the Internet says that he's open for snark at all times.
posted by Copronymus at 12:37 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


"... and then they lez up"*

*one day I'll do a TMWRNJ thread, one day...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:54 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


as a bit of a side note, another current movie that lets Toronto be Toronto is Repo Men
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:01 PM on March 29, 2010



Worst film of 2009, by far: Nine.

I dunno, it was lightweight, it had Elijah Wood in it, but was it all that bad?
posted by Mister_A at 1:02 PM on March 29, 2010


Russ Meyer had no daughters. FYI
posted by From Bklyn at 1:02 PM on March 29, 2010


Onion manqué

AKA Funyun.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:04 PM on March 29, 2010


Dear Pastabagel,
You see, the rest of us from the not-Toronto, not-southern Ontario parts of Canada know exactly how to interpret what's being expressed by the angsty-Torontonian (quasi-Canadian) post. It's written in the language of "We're cool aren't we? Really?! Even though we're Canadian?!?? Especially since we're from Toronto! You know, that great big city just north of Buffalo?"

The speech of Torontonians is affected by the wild mood-swings of internal conflict. While being forced to consider themselves "a part" of Canada, they know that they are the superior ones, the cool ones, the ones ahead of the curve. Though they insist that their fair burg (and it's eclectic? enigmatic? irregular? architecture) is, in fact, "world-class" and cosmopolitan, they suffer from an insecurity that only Canadians can fully comprehend.

The post reeks of these multiple layers of Canadian/Torontonian insecurities: Canadian director (not the best Canadian director: those would be Cronenberg and Madden) films in Canadian city, uses international stars to ensure success, yet remains unable to secure the completed appreciation and acceptance of the world's (America's) critics.

Liam Lacey is a prominent Canadian movie critic, who didn't even fully pan the movie. He gave it 3 out of 4.

Sorry you've had to endure this Canadian hand-wringing, and the linguistic conniptions that arise from it. It is unseemly, to be sure.
posted by kneecapped at 1:13 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Kneecapped, ol’ pal, the post was written as a direct pastiche of the prevailing MetaFilter style. (You must be new here.) And don’t play the linguistics card unless you’ve got a degree. One of us does.
posted by joeclark at 1:19 PM on March 29, 2010


Torontonians: the only people Canadians will be rude to
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:29 PM on March 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


He is the Choiresatz Haderach.
posted by adamdschneider at 1:31 PM on March 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


Which shop, Schlimmbesserung?
posted by Hildegarde at 1:36 PM on March 29, 2010


they know that they are the superior ones, the cool ones, the ones ahead of the curve.

You've never actually been here, have you.
posted by Hildegarde at 1:38 PM on March 29, 2010


sequel to Vampire Lesbians of Sodom

Well, it doesn't have a dream sequence storyboarded by Dali, but I'm going anyway.
posted by lumpenprole at 1:40 PM on March 29, 2010


Artw at 11:22 AM on March 29

...this is basically a promising Hitchcockian thriller for the first two thirds and then falls to peices at the end? Gah. Shutter Island...It's like no-one can do endings anymore.

So how would you have Shutter Island end? I mean you would have a completely different movie / premise / character development if you changed the ending. Get it? It would not be the same movie if you changed the ending because the end explains everything that that happens from the beginning.
posted by Rashomon at 1:52 PM on March 29, 2010


Ahhh joeclark,

You and Pastabagel were playing a game, that I, the uninitiated, was unable to recognize. Pastabagel in fact loves the linguistic stylings (sorry, pastiches) of the post.

Pardon me for reading, and then trying to write. I mistook my role here.

I shall retire to my chainsawring, a labour I'm more clearly qualified to do, away out here at my homely rural-Canadian locale.
posted by kneecapped at 1:56 PM on March 29, 2010


So how would you have Shutter Island end? I mean you would have a completely different movie / premise / character development if you changed the ending. Get it? It would not be the same movie if you changed the ending because the end explains everything that that happens from the beginning.

Well, yes, that's how these things work. It was still a shit ending. The only good thing I would say about it as an ending is that it wasn't "they were all dead all along". Retroactively it made the build up, which was all rather well done, seem rather pointless. YMMV, of course.
posted by Artw at 2:03 PM on March 29, 2010


Is everyone on MeFi Canadian? Or is it just that only Canadians read Atom Egoyan posts?

Bemusedly, from Saskatoon.
posted by jrochest at 2:03 PM on March 29, 2010


So how would you have Shutter Island end?

Well I don't think you can go wrong with a song and dance...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:19 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hot Tub Time Machine. There's something about that title. Every time I say it in my head, I get a little more depressed with each word.

Huh, it has the opposite effect on me. I like my dumb fun to be, well, dumb and fun. HTTM pretty much puts it all out front right there in the title. If only people were as honest.

(This is the Atom Egoyan thread about Hot Tub Time Machine, right?)
posted by LooseFilter at 2:32 PM on March 29, 2010


Huh, it has the opposite effect on me. I like my dumb fun to be, well, dumb and fun. HTTM pretty much puts it all out front right there in the title. If only people were as honest.

Same here. I especially love Craig Robinson's line from the trailer.

"It must be some kind of... hot tub time machine."

*dramatically looks at camera*
posted by brundlefly at 2:40 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm kinda interested by Hot Tub Time Machine from its trailers and previews I've seen... not least from it's so dumb it's clever title, though I worry it'll end up a Snakes On A Plane and not work on any level of irony you are supposed to watch it on.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:44 PM on March 29, 2010


So how would you have Shutter Island end? I mean you would have a completely different movie / premise / character development if you changed the ending. Get it? It would not be the same movie if you changed the ending because the end explains everything that that happens from the beginning.

Unfortunately what happened in the beginning was Dennis Lehane saw a double feature of Fight Club and The Sixth Sense, and then....
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:50 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love Canada, and Canadians.
posted by sciurus at 3:17 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


graventy: "Hot Tub Time Machine is the most causually misogynist popular entertainment I've seen in a while. Every female character is a bimbo shrew.

I think you misspelled She's Out of my League.
"

Not surprisingly, both movies are written by the same guys.
posted by octothorpe at 3:48 PM on March 29, 2010



I love Canada, and Canadians.


Me too! I wish that there weren't a bunch of them that seem to dislike me because of where I live, though
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:50 PM on March 29, 2010


I hated The Sweet Hereafter so much that I decided I'd never see another Atom Egoyan movie. Keeping that promise.

In Don McKellar's outstanding directorial debut, Last Night, Toronto played itself. It played itself, ridiculously but still, in Canadian Bacon and likely quite a few other films.

By comparison consider us poor Calgarians: The two films by our own Gary Burns that are always said to illustrate the bad (well, mostly bad) of modern Calgary, Radiant City and waydowntown, Calgary is never, not once, actually mentioned. I even had to correct one ignoramus on imdb who insisted that the Eaton Centre setting- the CALGARY Eaton Centre- of waydowntown was actually Toronto.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 4:10 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Just wanted to say, I can definitely see how the phrase "Toronto plays itself for once" could be confusing if you're not already primed to understand it as referring to this phenomenon.

Also, just like a low user number confers no authority that should be recognized in free conversation, nor does a degree.

joeclark, I like your posts about Toronto and would like to see even more of them, but don't use shitty arguments.

kneecapped, I basically agree with your explanation of the style, and I'm a Torontonian, FWIW.

Just as a little sidestory, I recently took a little trip to check out a creative writing MFA program at a university in Alabama. It was on an "accepting students visiting weekend" so there were like 15 of us prospective students, and also I met maybe 30 more current students. So I met about 45-50 young people from all around the States who, being enrolled or about to enroll in an art degree, you'd maybe think were relatively culturally savvy. Anyway basically not one of them knew anything about Toronto. At first I was like it's a big city? Like 5th largest in North America including Mexico City? Big exporter of popular indie rock? Possibly the most multicultural city in the world although see here for debunking? They were like "is it cold?" Anyway I guess my point is that while it may be true that Torontonians have an image of their city that's out of sync with how it's perceived from the outside, I'm not 100% convinced the error lies in the minds of Torontonians. Toronto actually is a great city; the fact that it's not as well-known as say Chicago as a cool big city by Americans has I think more to do with American parochialism than Toronto not actually being a cool big city. As to why non-Torontonian Canadians resent it, I'm not sure. I wasn't born here and I had no anti-Toronto sentiment before I lived here. Although I did just read a long article on how Ontarian political cabals have been fucking over other parts of the country for hundreds of years, so maybe that has something to do with it, I dunno.
posted by skwt at 5:03 PM on March 29, 2010


uh I mean "accepted students visiting weekend"
posted by skwt at 5:12 PM on March 29, 2010


I like Toronto and I thought it was a shame when the Nordiques left.
posted by Mister_A at 5:58 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Nordiques "left" or "were torn from" Quebec City.

I like Torontonians. I like Toronto. It seems that my interpretation that Torontonians in particular, and Canadians in general, "handwring" over how they are perceived by Americans was also interpreted to mean that I dislike Torontonians.

I'm not 100% convinced the error lies in the minds of Torontonians.
This makes sense. I do resent, however, the sense one gets from some Torontonians (and southern Ontarians), that they view of the rest of Canada in way that is somewhat similar to the view of skwt's Alabama students--that is, benignly unaware of significant people and places outside of their immediate surroundings.

As to the love/hate thing. I lived in Winnipeg for 13 years. (I live in rural Manitoba now.) I love Winnipeg, but gustily sang "I Hate Winnipeg" along with John K. Samson, and many other 'peggers at the Wpg Folkfest. I believe that you can't really come to love yourself, until you know what there is to hate, and embrace that too.

The Jets left Winnipeg. That sucks too.

And I'm looking forward to watching Chloe, because I like Egoyan's work (esp. The Sweet Hereafter).
posted by kneecapped at 7:08 PM on March 29, 2010


I do resent, however, the sense one gets from some Torontonians (and southern Ontarians), that they view of the rest of Canada in way that is somewhat similar to the view of skwt's Alabama students--that is, benignly unaware of significant people and places outside of their immediate surroundings.

I have no idea what you're talking about. Most people in Toronto did not start out there. Most people have roots somewhere else; either another country (most of us), or some other part of this one. Everyone's paying attention to something other than their immediate surroundings. Toronto is pretty much defined by the fact that we all take our cues from somewhere not very local at all. In fact, for the most part, Torontonians see most of the best things about their city as imports. Including themselves.

What I get from what you're saying is this: Canadians long to have Americans notice them more, admire something about them, maybe return their unrequited love. So apparently the rest of Canada wants the people of Toronto (or....the people of southern Ontario) to do the same?

I honestly don't know what more you want from us. We constantly celebrate artists from across the country, we sigh and wish Quebec would read our earnest love notes, in our youth we all long to trek out to the west coast (the Torontonian's idea of paradise). Any novels involving the prairies go on our required high school curriculum, and we largely consider that setting to be "truly" Canadian. We all watch the same national news. We're all watching Peter's receding hairline. We all love our HandsomeManThing. We worry about you guys when the rivers flood, when the winters are cruel, when the cows go mad, when the bugs are crazy. We follow the latest from coast to coast. We feel pride when Canadians anywhere demonstrate their Canadianness. What more do you want? Regular postcards from the mayor of Toronto, saying, "Sure, lots of cool things happen in Toronto, but dammit, we wish we were at your place?"

Personally, I think it's okay for the people of Toronto to love living in Toronto. In my experience, that's the really unpopular thing elsewhere in Canada. It's important to everyone else that we really, really hate living here. I realize Toronto is big and dominating, I get it, but can't we love all our neighbourhoods? Do you really have to resent us for that?
posted by Hildegarde at 8:42 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think Egoyan is one of the few North American film makers seriously thinking about sex as it relates to media and power. Where the Truth Lies, is a masterpeice of strangeness.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:44 PM on March 29, 2010


Toronto actually is a great city; the fact that it's not as well-known as say Chicago as a cool big city by Americans has I think more to do with American parochialism than Toronto not actually being a cool big city.

That would be easily solved by shifting the border a few miles north and making Toronto an American city. Once incorporated, it could be known and celebrated just like Chicago and Miami. In exchange we'll give you Buffalo, Erie, and a thin slice of North Dakota.

On-topic, I've always liked Egoyan's films; I expect I'll like his new one, boobs or no boobs.
posted by Forktine at 9:02 PM on March 29, 2010


Yes, but, SKWT, I linked to the post you linked to in my post. I trust that’s recursive enough, and not shitty.
posted by joeclark at 9:15 PM on March 29, 2010


I think the word "resent" isn't working for me. It was a bad choice. I should have used a word like "notice" although I don't know that that would have changed much. Whatever the case it's too late now.

It's too bad that this has turned into a question of love or hate for anyone or any place. For the role that I have played in making it so, I apologize. I know this might look like I'm ducking, but I really don't know how to overcome the problem of tone when emotions and loyalties are in question. I'm thinking we'd have a better chance of sorting this out if we were sitting at a table over beers or scotch or rye or something at a great little pub in your city, or my town. These days I'm recommending Half Pints, the Stir Stick Stout (fr Wpg). What do you recommend I try from a Toronto micro-brewery?
posted by kneecapped at 10:14 PM on March 29, 2010


I love Winnipeg, but gustily sang "I Hate Winnipeg" along with John K. Samson . . . The Jets left Winnipeg. That sucks too.

You got that sorta backward. The Guess Who suck. And the Jets were lousy anyway.
posted by gompa at 10:27 PM on March 29, 2010


Egoyan seems to suffer when operating with high-budget productions

My impression with this and WtTL was that Egoyan was going for the same thing Cronenberg did with A History of Violence; an established independent director basically doing work for hire and trading his autonomy and cachet for security and resources, hopefully succeeding, and then getting space to do their thing within the Hollywood system.

Torontonians: the only people Canadians will be rude to

Correction: The only people Canadians would be rude to, assuming a Torontonian would deign to speak to someone from outside of the megacity for longer than it takes to order a coffee or put $20 in the tank. Zing!/Le Zing!

Seriously though, it's a great place to raise a family.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:41 PM on March 29, 2010


Ooooh boy, I find it interesting that the country closest to my sphere of influence (ASEAN + SAARC) where this movie will be released is South Korea. The titties are perhaps to be blamed, although I did watch Where the Truth Lies, in a theater in Singapore. It's also impossible to get any of Egoyan's movies on DVD, except Mount Ararat, because of their R 21 ratings.

This, however, is not the place where I'll describe my comfort-levels in finding torrents.
posted by the cydonian at 10:48 PM on March 29, 2010


What do you recommend I try from a Toronto micro-brewery?

Thanks for the apology. This whole thread is a bit rediculous for exposing what should remain an internal Canadian matter. I'd rather non-Canadians didn't have to see how bloody provincial our country can be.

Mill street is the local brewery you're most likely to find outside the city. Devil's pale ale 666 (from great lakes brewery) is my personal favourite.

(If people from Toronto seem a little touchy, it's because you really have no idea how much shit we get when travelling in this country. if you don't want to offend people, just save the negative generalizations about where they come from. For what it's worth, Winnipeg's got a lot of cred in my book.)
posted by Alex404 at 10:58 PM on March 29, 2010


OMG I HATE TORONTO

He was always quietly second-guessing the Lone Ranger, you could just tell.
posted by everichon at 8:47 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is everyone on MeFi Canadian? Or is it just that only Canadians read Atom Egoyan posts?

I'm not Canadian (though I wish I were), and Egoyan gets my respect. Exotica is one of my all-time top ten movies.
posted by cereselle at 9:21 AM on March 30, 2010


I am Canadian in my fervent love of Tim's, socialized medicine, and French.
posted by everichon at 9:47 AM on March 30, 2010


Also, just like a low user number confers no authority that should be recognized in free conversation, nor does a degree.

OK, you lost me: I agree that low user number confers no authority, because it has nothing to do with earned expertise or experience in any specific subject, discipline, or practice. But a degree in a field relevant to the topic being discussed confers no authority? Say WHAT? If extensive knowledge of, and training and experience in a field don't confer authority, what does? I don't think book learnin' makes anyone's opinions beyond reproach, but for goodness' sake, expertise should confer authority. What else could?

posted by LooseFilter at 10:06 AM on March 30, 2010


"Is everyone on MeFi Canadian?"

Absolutely, except for the ones who aren't.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:12 AM on March 30, 2010


In exchange we'll give you Buffalo, Erie, and a thin slice of North Dakota

Ahhh... hmmm. [awkward pause]

How's about Alaska? We'll even take the Palins, that way Sarah can stop hiding her Canada Health card under the wolf pelts in the attic.

No deal? We'll settle for Maine - that way we don't have to drive all the way up to Rivière-du-Loup then down the #2 Highway-of-Death just to find a roadside stand selling little brown paper bags of salted dulse.

Throw in the top half of Vermont, New Hampshire and upstate N'Yawk and we'll let you have the whole Golden Triangle.
posted by CynicalKnight at 7:46 PM on March 30, 2010


I've had the Tankhouse Ale and the Coffee Porter. Liked the darker stuff myself, but both were excellent. I'll look for the 666 next time. No devil jokes here now. None. Nope. None at all.
posted by kneecapped at 9:56 PM on March 30, 2010


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