Tag Archives: The Sweet Hereafter

April 2010, in review

In December, I set goals for myself, how many films to see this year, how many shows to attend, how many records to purchase, and how many books to read. This is the standings, as of the end of February…

Books I read (6/10) – 60%:
Nothing this month.

Films I saw (32/52) – 61%:
The Sweet Hereafter | Originally released 1997   
Nine | Originally released 2009
The Runaways
Sleeper | Originally released 1973

Albums I bought (24/52) – 46%:
“My Father’s House” b/w “The Digger” (Regional 7″ Volume 2) by $100   
What The Boat Gave The River by Mark Berube & The Patriotic Few   
new EP by Fred Squire   

Shows I attended (14/52) – 27%:
Daniel, Fred & Julie (w/ Baby Eagle & Jerry Leger) @ The Horseshoe Tavern; April 16, 2010   
The Cheap Speakers (w/ Mark Berube and The Patriotic Few, Lordy Lordy & Big Crimes) @ El Mocambo; April 17, 2010   
Sloan, The Meligrove Band, Adam Green & Valery Gore @ Sonic Boom; April 18, 2010   
Daniel, Fred & Julie @ Soundscapes; April 26, 2010   

The Sweet Hereafter

The Sweet Hereafter is a classic Atom Egoyan film from 1997. Egoyan’s narrative is emotional and strong. He deftly parallels the grief of Ian Holm’s character over his destroyed family with the grief of the the small community who’s children are lost or injured in a school bus crash.

Non-linear narrative is something which has come to be more and more common-place. Television has succeeded at this structure with Lost but more often than not, it fails when countless TV writers don’t know how to make a good teaser and instead jump to the climax of the show. Egoyan is able to successfully navigate the story in a non-linear manner, which allows the audience to effectively build a compassion for the characters by seeing their post-crash grief before we see the actual destruction. In addition, we see Holm’s grief interwoven through the film’s timeline, and as such, the emotional climax for his character comes as the bus crashes.

Why had I never seen this film before?