“Atom Egoyan’s short film Artaud Double Bill from the anthology Chacun son cinéma/To Each His Own Cinema (2007) has become one of the most eloquent and provocative articulations of the fast-changing state of film exhibition and viewership in our times.
In it, two friends, Anna and Nicole, plan to meet each other at the movies but somehow end up in different theaters watching different films: Anna is in a theater showing Jean Luc Godard’s Vivre sa vie/My Life to Live (1962), and Nicole is watching Egoyan’s own film, The Adjuster (1991).
As they realize their mistake, they begin chatting on their smart phones to connect to each other as well as to share their film experience in both text and images from the films. This initially simple set-up–two friends, two different films, historical time periods, two different theaters, two different screen technologies–soon develops into a complex and multiplying network that establishes significant connections and parallels between otherwise separate and seemingly incompatible locations, films, screen technologies, and viewing experiences. As they watch the films–and film within a film–and their experiences merge, the events in both films merge as well and begin to comment on each other” (Deshpande and Mazaj 37).