starring Amanda Seyfried, Rebecca Liddiard, Douglas Smith, Mark O'Brien
written and directed by Atom Egoyan
by Angelo Muredda Atom Egoyan hits his stride again in Seven Veils, a playful and self-reflexive backstage drama about the re-staging of a Canadian Opera Company production of Richard Strauss's Salome, which Egoyan, lover of complicated matryoshka-doll narrative structures and intertextuality, has twice mounted for the same company, first in 1996, then in February of this year. Footage from both of those versions becomes the obscure scene of the crime in the film, where director Jeanine (Amanda Seyfried, reuniting with Egoyan after the underrated Chloe) is in the challenging process of remounting a production previously directed by her mentor and apparent groomer Charles, who integrated cryptic home movies of her ritualistic abuse at the hands of her father into the original work--video elements that, of course, were also foregrounded in Egoyan's stagings of the opera. While Jeanine is wrestling personal and professional demons to get the remounting into shape and dealing with her conservative minders at the COC, who'd rather she discard her aesthetic changes and relegate her incendiary director's note to a blog or a podcast (where, you can almost hear Egoyan snickering, it'll never be heard), props master Clea (Rebecca Liddiard) is documenting her behind-the-scenes work on her humble iPhone, inadvertently capturing another sex crime that makes her both a survivor and a potential power player.