Armenian-Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan often borders on pretentiousness, what with his humorless and emotionally distant characters and all… but when he’s on, he’s sooo on. Calendar just might remain his best film in terms of constructing a perfect little work that manages to do one thing beautifully.

The conceit is simple: a story that centers around a calendar, twelve months, twelve images, and one disastrous photography project where it all falls apart. Mixing film and video, fine art and low art, fiction and autobiography, ancient and modern, past and future, Calendar blends it all into a simple square-framed document of a failed marriage, with a subtle dash of humor sprinkled in for good measure. Starring the director himself as a detached blowhard of a man who can only relate to things through the safe, composed frame of photography… and his real-life partner, Arsinée Khanjian, as his ignored and lonely wife, Calendar is a tidy, beautiful personal meditation with enough formal experimentation to make it a great work of art for the rest of us.

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