Moving Mountains: The Centenary of Armenian Cinema
Screening Dates
  • June 17, 2023 8:30
In Person: Atom Egoyan

A flat-out masterpiece … The film seems at times [to be] a minimalist exercise, but in fact the material is dense and intricate, and some of the visual compositions are breathtaking.”

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

Armenia’s breakaway from the USSR in 1991 had cataclysmic consequences for the country’s film industry. Practically grounded to a halt due to the collapse of production and distribution systems, the sector nevertheless was presented with other avenues of development. Most significant among these was the increased involvement of diasporic filmmakers, who had an unprecedented opportunity to shoot films in their historical homeland. One of the first to respond was rising Canadian Armenian auteur Atom Egoyan, who travelled to Armenia in 1992 with his creative and life partner Arsinée Khanjian to make the largely improvised, low-budget Calendar. Starring the couple themselves, the ambivalent and elliptical narrative follows a diasporan photographer and his wife, whose travels across Armenia’s ancient landscape expose different worldviews and connections, leading to the eventual breakdown of their relationship. Egoyan’s minimalist interpolation of chamber drama and faux home video footage is an incisive deconstruction of the conflicts inherent in globalized cultural identity, and a marker of Armenian cinema’s evolution beyond the geopolitical confines of Soviet legacy.

In English and Armenian with English subtitles

Calendar director Atom Egoyan will introduce the film and participate in a post-screening Q&A.

A major leap forward … Egoyan’s early films are revelations, reflecting the modern world in a hall of mirrors.”

Scott Tobias, AV Club