From the Vault: Exotica (1994)
Exotica is a mid 90s film written and directed Atom Egoyan, which stars Mia Kirshner (The L-Word), Bruce Greenwald (Star Trek 09), Elias Koteas (Gattaca) and Arsinée Khanjian (The Sweet Hereafter, married to Egoyan).
It’s hard to describe this film, so I urge you to watch it and judge for yourself. It centers around a handful of characters and seemingly random events, but as the story unfolds – in nonlinear fashion – the connections are made apparent and often with complicated and tragic results. While most of the action takes place in the Toronto strip club called EXOTICA, it’s not a movie about exotic dancing industry anymore than say – Flashdance. EXOTICA is a character study and if that sort of film frustrates you, this is not going to be your bag of candy. That said, I still say give it a chance. I walked into the Sunset 5 thinking I was about to see EROTIQUE – an entirely different film – and came away from the film a HUGE Egoyan fan.
I’ll be the first to admit, Egoyan, director of such films as The Sweet Hereafter (based on the Russell Bank novel) and Where the Truth Lies (written by Mr. Pina Coloda himself!) is an acquired taste. His films move slowly with painstaking precision and often with uncomfortable resolutions. Nevertheless, EXOTICA is one of his most accessible films.
The soundtrack was composed by Mycheal Danna whose credits include: LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE and THE SWEET HEREAFTER – all stellar works! The music here is fantastic and also includes “Everybody Knows” by Leonard Cohen.