Calendar (1993), a film by Atom Egoyan, is centered around several intricate themes. One of which is the ever intangible notion of memory and temporal space. The film’s unconventional approach of developing the main character, the photographer, through means of flash backs and flash forwards, truly added a seemingly irritating factor to the film. The viewer never seems to grasp or feel attached to the main character, his wife, or his several “dates.”It’s not that it was difficult to understand what was happening throughout the course of the film, rather, it was a bit of an annoyance to witness the apparent “struggles” of the main character. He was not the most likable character because of what he does throughout the course of the rather choppy, yet legible narrative.
The film was about a man and his wife, on a trip to Armenia, embarking on numerous struggling interactions. Although, almost none of their interactions (with anyone in the film) took place in real time (in relation to the films initial setting), instead the photographer, played by Egoyan himself, lived through the dates on his calendar. The notion of memory is imperative to human knowledge. We as human beings believe what we remember. In Calender, the photographer was not entirely certain of what had happened in the past, (this was evident with the scene with the photographers wife and the limousine driver) he fell victim to memories definitive quality to cause an area of fuzzy defective knowledge within our easily manipulated subconscious.
A skewed sense of memory can alter our actions, this was seen with the main character in the film. He only understood what his mind allowed him to remember. This shows that the human psyche is ever changing, memories may be easily accessible, but there almost never entirely accurate. Atom, as the main character and as the director, lost his sense of temporal space. On purpose of course (as a director). The film was like an abstract puzzle, meant to be pieced together by the viewers knowledge of the main characters past transgressions.
Although the film aggravated my senses, I managed to enjoy its significance and cinematic texture. I must see the film again to further understand it, and quite possible study its rather intricate take on memory.Calendar was a very well made film that I seemed to enjoy abundantly more than Sans Soleil because of its ability to satisfy my rather superficial criteria of watching a semi-Hollywood esque narrative.