Family Viewing

Canada, 1987

Film
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Atom Egoyan’s debut feature marked out the psychological landscape that he would pursue throughout his career - namely the dark undercurrents coursing beneath society’s veneer of calm and order, particularly in regards to sex and family. Van, an adolescent who lives with his remote father and dominated stepmother, is concerned for his grandmother who languishes in a shoddy elderly home. Despite Van’s protestations, his father neither visits nor cares causing Van to take action with the assistance of a woman, Aline, who visits her ailing mother in the next bed. As Van and Aline’s relationship develops, Van moves away from the incestuous bond he shares with his step-mother, as well as uncovering the secrets of his absent mother and domineering father. By framing characters in extreme close-up with continuous cross-cutting, mimicking the bland style of an ordinary day-time soap opera, Egoyan maintains a claustrophobic tension, an unsettling effect exacerbated by the devastating lies that lurk beneath such apparent ordinariness. Using a collection of video images, television, pornography, home movies, and surveillance the film observes the breakdown and restoration of a dislocated family. Cast includes: David Hemblen, Aidan Tierney, Gabrielle Rose, Arsinee Khanjian, Selma Keklikian, Rose Sarkisyan.

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Collection

In ACMI's collection

Credits

director

Atom Egoyan

production company

Canada Council

Ego Film Arts

Ontario Arts Council

Ontario Film Development Corporation

Duration

01:26:00:00

Production places
Canada
Production dates
1987

Collection metadata

ACMI Identifier

324880

Language

English

Audience classification

MA

Sound/audio

Sound

Colour

Colour

Holdings

VHS; Access Print (Section 1)

Wikidata

Q4415155

Please note: this archive is an ongoing body of work. Sometimes the credit information (director, year etc) isn’t available so these fields may be left blank; we are progressively filling these in with further research.

Cite this work on Wikipedia

If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url=https://acmi.net.au/works/80836--family-viewing/ |title=Family Viewing |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=20 July 2024 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}