Calendar

In Aton Egoyan’s film Calendar, the main character, a photographer, deals with memory and time. He was sent to Armenia to take pictures of churches for a calendar. He slowly loses his wife to the taxi driver over this trip. Back at home, he tries to replay a moment in his life with his wife. The film in an interspersion of clips from the trip to Armenia, moments with escorts trying to replay his life with his wife, and images of the calendar as time progresses. As time passes, memory tends to become fainter and less distinct in our minds. The same effect is displayed in the film as the clips of the trip become fuzzier, played backwards, repeated, etcetera. Although calendars are the most cliché representation of the passage of time, this film brought about some personal memories. Calendars have always found a very important place in history. For example, the history of the Jewish people clearly shows that the calendar system was a very important device in the unification of the Jewish community. “Indeed, even the weekly observance of the holy day of the Sabbath for a people fated to a life of continuous exodus and exile, was central to the construction of their identity in time and by time.” As a member of that community today, I can attest to the truth of this statement. But I never thought that it would ever come up in connection with a film like Calendar. Calendar produces a collage calendar made of photographs and videos. This type of calendar is exactly like a true memory because the replay of the past, or the commemoration of a memory is never like the initial event. But the memory “must be re-lived and acted as the blurred life of the fast-forward or the rewind functions of his video machine.” So Egoyan may have confused the heck out of me but he also taught me something about my heritage and about how, despite the cliché, calendars truly represent the passing of time in their regularity and their circularity.

Works Cited:

Nelson, Tollof. “Passing Time in Intercultural Cinema: The Exilic Experience of the Time-Passer in Atom Egoyan’s Calendar (1993).” SubStance 34.1 (2005): 129-44. Print.

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