Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir Part II stands out at the Cannes Film Festival
Joanna Hogg is sitting on the balcony of a hotel overlooking the Mediterranean, but what she would really like to do is swim in it.
The night before, Hogg presented his film The Souvenir Part II at the Cannes Film Festival. Suites may be part of the summer, but they rarely make it to Cannes. Still, The Souvenir is not a two-part classic.
Together, the films are a sublime and singular work of semi-autobiography – a coming-of-age self-portrait reflected through time and film. They are based on a period in Hogg’s life in the late 1980s when she was in film school in London.
In the first part, a romance with an older man who has a hidden drug addiction ends tragically. In the second part, Julie devotes herself to making her latest student film about this experience while dealing with her grief. In both, Honor Swinton Byrne plays a lightly fictionalized version of Hogg when she was younger; Byrne’s real mother, Tilda Swinton, plays her mother.
The films were written together in one piece, spread over two films. And there are very few like them.
“I’m not even sure I finished it,” Hogg said, a little surprised to feel this. “It’s funny, because I finished it. I’m not doing another part. I don’t know if I really realized it was over.
The Souvenir Part II was one of the great successes of the Cannes Film Festival. He played at the Directors’ Fortnight, which takes place alongside the Cannes official selection. It is a felted film, formally composed, which plays down the Croisette from the central Palace in Cannes.
Yet few movies here have garnered so much adoration. Hogg’s project has already attracted a wide range of admirers (Martin Scorsese is the executive producer of both films). But “The Souvenir Part II”, which a24 will release, only enhances Hogg’s success.
“I rediscovered a way of making films that I loved when I was in film school before I got caught up in television,” says Hogg, 61, who only made his debut as that director that in 2007 “Unrelated.” It was the making of the movie in the movie in the movie – I don’t know how many boxes there are in it. “
The nature of The Souvenir Hall of Mirrors only gets stranger. Tilda Swinton, an old friend of the director, starred in Hogg’s original 1986 short, titled “Caprice”. In The Souvenir Part II, Byrne wears his mother’s clothes from that time. After the film’s Cannes premiere, Swinton emphatically said, “It was a journey.”
Hogg acknowledges that even for her, the lines between memory and fiction have blurred. Towards the end of Part 2, Julie is interviewed about her student film – a scene Hogg feels like she’s replayed for herself.
“I almost feel like I’m inside a movie while I’m talking to you,” Hogg says with a laugh. “We have Julia in an interview, and she says the exact words I said in an interview in the late 80s. It’s too weird. Maybe I’m dreaming. Maybe it’s a movie.
But while there is still a lot for Hogg to understand about her experience completing The Remembrance, what is absolutely simple is that, 35 years later, she has come to full realization as a filmmaker.
“I feel more emboldened,” Hogg says. “At first glance, I seem rather reserved and a little shy, that’s how I feel anyway. But when it comes to doing my job, I’m like a dog with a bone. It is my cornerstone.
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