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Demystifying Exotica Essay by Anthony Leong Copyright 1997 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Let me ask you something gentlemen What is it that gives a schoolgirl her special innocence Her sweet fragrance Fresh flowers Light spring rain Or is it her firm young flesh inviting your every caress enticing you to explore the deepest most private secrets Exotica is an Atom Egoyan film which received rave reviews at Cannes a few years back and has been available on video On the surface Exotica could be considered one of your typical sexploitation flicks that appeals to the lowest common denominator the most recent being Showgirls and Striptease However upon watching the film the story of the relationships between the characters is slowly unveiled and a commentary on the value of relationships in the postmodern age is formed Like the slow striptease of that Christina performs on the stage of Club Exotica revelations about the characters are shed for the audience Thomas smuggling operation the reason for Christinas loyalty to Francis the lesbian relationship between Zoe and Christina the murder of Francis daughter and the relationship between Eric and Christina Dont you think you owe it to yourself to do something thatll make you feel like youre someone special You are someone special Five dollars is all it takes to prove it The story revolves around the Club Exotica a strip club in the middle of an industrial wasteland in Toronto There is Christina the stripper who works there Zoe the pregnant owner of the bar and Eric the DJ Francis is a Revenue Canada auditor who frequents the club always asking for Christina and they play a strange game where Francis relives the memory of his murdered daughter As the movie develops he comes to know Thomas the owner of a pet store who also smuggles exotic animals Eric becomes jealous of Francis fascination of Christina and sets him up to be
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