Art and Experience: Atom Egoyan, who is attending the Marrakech Film Festival as part of a tribute to Canadian cinema and to present his latest film, “Remember,” said he was currently working on a science-fiction project which will likely be produced as a TV series.
Egoyan revealed he was developing an adaptation of science-fiction book about Artificial Intelligence.
“This book looks at the history of Artificial Intelligence from [the point of view of] people who dedicated their lives to Artificial Intelligence and who have a personal need to find it.”
Added Egoyan: “It becomes very political because Artificial Intelligence is the next domain. Suddenly there is the possibility of creating beings with brains that are more progressive than ours, so it’s gets hugely political.”
The soft-spoken helmer said the sic-fi project was more suited for TV drama than a feature.
Speaking of TV prospects, Egoyan said he experimented with television at the beginning of his career. “It’s interesting because Martin Landau who’s in my film (‘Remember’) was also in the series ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ that I directed in the 80’s.’”
“Back in the 80’s, I also did the TV pilot of ‘Friday the 13th’ so I’ve done TV and for the longest period of time I thought it was a second form. ‘The Adjuster,’ my 1991 film, was adapted by HBO into a series but I gave it to them, I wasn’t involved, at the time, no one was taking it seriously,” Egoyan admitted.
The director said he was also interested in directing an opera of Leoš Janáček. “I’ve done four operas in the past three years. I love the form so much. I’ve never done Janáček so I’m very interested in it,” said Egoyan, who previously adapted Mozart, Bach, Richard Strauss (“Salome”) and Richard Wagner (the “Ring” cycle). “Operas give me the ability to structure the images to the music. I also have the feeling that you get a greater level of concentration from everyone involved, more so than with films.”
Asked about his reaction to the Paris attacks, Egoyan said the “worst thing we can do is to be terrorized.” “Of course it’s changed our world in a profound way, of course we were horrified by the randomness and brutality of these attacks but to change the way we understand culture would be a mistake,” Egoyan argued.
Egoyan’s latest film, “Remember,” opened at the Venice Film Festival and played at Hamburg, Mar del Plata and Mill Valley, among other fests. Starring Christopher Plummer, Dean Norris and Martin Landau, “Remember” turns on an Auschwitz survivor suffering from dementia who embarks on a journey to track down the person responsible for the death of his family.