Oscar-nominated director Atom Egoyan joins entertainment editor Amanda Palmer and our FPS audience for a special screening and Q&A session about his new film, Adoration.

Amanda Palmer and Atom Egoyan, the
director of Adoration
In Adoration, Sabine (Arsinée Khanjian), a high school French teacher, gives her class a translation exercise based on a news story from the past about a terrorist who planted a bomb in the airline luggage of his pregnant girlfriend.

When one of her students, an orphan, takes the exercise online - in the guise of that couple's now-teenaged child - it ignites a globe-spanning controversy.

Adoration speaks to our connections: with one another, with our family history, with technology, and with the greater world.

Atom Egoyan is an Egyptian-born, Armenian-Canadian filmmaker, hailed since the late 1980s as one of the major figures of contemporary independent cinema.

His work often explores themes of alienation and isolation, featuring characters whose interactions are mediated through technology, bureaucracy or other power structures.

Egoyan discusses the unique vision behind such masterpieces as The Sweet Hereafter, about a small town devastated by a school bus disaster, and Ararat, one of the first films to confront the mass murder of Armenians by the Turkish state in the first world war.

Part two

Stephen Frears

British directing phenomenon Stephen Frears
In 1988, British director Stephen Frears struck gold with Dangerous Liaisons, a box-office hit that won seven Oscar nominations.

Set in period France and co-starring Michelle Pfeiffer, it was concerned with the romantic intrigues of sophisticated and world-weary aristocrats. 

Frears has now gone back to France, and back to the past, for Cheri, based on a 1920 novel by Colette, co-starring Pfeiffer, and concerning itself with the romantic intrigues of sophisticated and world-weary aristocrats.

Both films were written by Christopher Hampton. 

Amanda Palmer talks to Frears about Cheri, and they take a spin through his impressive career on both sides of the Atlantic, including films like The Queen, Dirty Pretty Things, The Grifters, High Fidelity and My Beautiful Laundrette.

The spiky, candid Frears makes for one of FPS's more entertaining subjects.

Mammoth

Michelle Williams and Gael Garcia Bernal in Lukas Moodysson's Mammoth
In a decade or so of filmmaking, Swedish director Lukas Moodysson has found success with a light nostalgic drama (Together), an oppressively grim story of exploitation (Lilya 4Ever), and an off-centre teen romance (Show Me Love).

He has also made some lesser-seen forays into freaky experimentalism.

And now he has made his first English-language film, casting two of the hottest stars in independent cinema.

Mammoth, starring Michelle Williams and Gael Garcia Bernal, spans the globe, from New York City to Thailand and the Philippines.

On one level, it is about parenting - specifically about Third World women who travel halfway around the world to tend to Western children in order to provide a future for their own children back home.

It is also about how distance can stretch the bonds of any relationship. And finally, Mammoth is about a really, really nice pen. 

FPS speaks to Moodysson and Bernal about this haunting new film.

This episode of The Fabulous Picture Show aired from Thursday, May 21, 2009.

Source: Al Jazeera