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Exotica (1994)

R | | Drama | 24 March 1995 (USA)
Trailer
1:09 | Trailer
A man plagued by neuroses frequents the club Exotica in an attempt to find solace, but even there his past is never far away.

Director:

Atom Egoyan

Writer:

Atom Egoyan
15 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bruce Greenwood ... Francis / Tax auditor
Mia Kirshner ... Christina / Stripper
Don McKellar ... Thomas / Petshop owner
Elias Koteas ... Eric / Club's DJ
Arsinée Khanjian ... Zoe / Club owner
Victor Garber ... Harold / Francis' brother
Sarah Polley ... Tracey / Harold's daughter
David Hemblen ... Customs Inspector
Calvin Green Calvin Green ... Customs Officer
Jack Blum ... Scalper
Ken McDougall ... Club Doorman
Peter Krantz Peter Krantz ... Man in Taxi
Billy Merasty Billy Merasty ... Man at Opera
Damon D'Oliveira ... David / Man at Opera
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Storyline

This psychological thriller is true to its subjects as well as being complex, dynamic, and overly dramatic. How something so long ago, seemingly trivial, years later with more significant trauma, turns repressed emotions into a dysfunctional life and distorted thinking. This is all merged into a psychological menagerie that unfolds piece by piece to perfection. Written by benignjamin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In a world of temptation, obsession is the deadliest desire.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English | Hebrew

Release Date:

24 March 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Exótica See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$100,654, 5 March 1995

Gross USA:

$4,221,036

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,221,036
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the film was being advertised through newspapers in the Philippines, the banner states "Strong warning by the MTRCB (Movie and Television Ratings Classification Board) - strictly for adults only. This film is approved without cuts because of its artistic value." See more »

Goofs

The cuts on Francis's face change size and shape throughout the movie after he gets thrown out of Exotica. See more »

Quotes

Eric: Mmm, what? What is it? What is it that gives a school-girl her special innocence? Is it the way they smell? The sweet smell of their perfume... , of their hair? The aroma of fresh flowers... , and all that other stuff that hasn't been fucked up by late nights and a lot 'a bad food? Is it their gestures... , and the way they move? The way their body still holds on to some semblance of self-respect and... , and dignity? When they wrap their beautiful legs around you - tight, holding on - looking ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Indie Sex: Taboos (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Ave Generosa
Performed by The Toronto Consort
Selected from the CD release "Full Well She Sang"
See more »

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User Reviews

Amazingly beautiful, haunting film
29 April 1999 | by Gouda-3See all my reviews

I can't remember seeing a film as intriguing, complex, and beautifully photographed as "Exotica." I nearly didn't watch it because the video cover advertized it as an "erotic thriller" and the image on the front is of Mia Kirchner doing her strip-tease bit. Granted, "Exotica" centers around a "gentleman's club" of the same name, but to call this film a simple erotic thriller is to miss out on a lot, on too much.

"Exotica" follows four seemingly unrelated storylines: a man sitting alone at a table in a strip club, another man smuggling exotic parrot eggs into the country ("Exotica" takes place in and around Toronto), two apparent strangers walking in a field of green, and a young girl who plays a flute in an empty house. Egoyan begins with these vastly different puzzle pieces then slowly, inexorably brings them together.

Atom Egoyan is one heck of a masterful director. He is the epicenter of this cinematic symphony that leads carefully from movement to movement until the finale bursts forth in equal measure of catharsis, discovery, and tragedy. Plot to him is like tapestry weaving. He threads narrative, characters, time, and setting in such complicated iterations that one is at once nearly overwhelmed by the intricacy and awed at his skill, a testament to his brilliance as well as his belief that a film-going audience is actually intelligent.

At it's heart, "Exotica" is a tragedy of circumstances. Or better yet, a collision of tragedies of circumstances. Indeed, the film isn't so much about tragedy as it is about those who survive tragedy and the toll a single event can exact for the rest of the lives of those who survive. Exotica, the gentleman's club, serves merely as a focal point where all these individual tragedies radiate to.

Equally haunting in all this is the music. Mychael Danna's score sets the film's tone: dark, "exotic," deceptively simple but savvier than it lets on. Also worthy of note is the music in the club itself, a blend of American house funk and Middle Eastern tones, warbled in Arabic.

I highly recommend this film. Ignore the naked women who sashay from time to time in front of the screen (difficult as that may be at times) in the scenes shot in the club. The really interesting stuff occurs at the margins of the film, as the gulf separating the storylines begin to vanish, and the final scene gives you the keystone to a horrifying clear vision of a sadness so overwhelming that no one in the film escapes unscathed.


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