Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir Part II stands out at Cannes Film Festival


Joanna Hogg is sitting on a resort balcony overlooking the Mediterranean, however what she’d actually wish to be doing is swimming in it.

The night time earlier than, Hogg premiered her movie The Souvenir Part II at the Cannes Film Festival. Sequels could also be a daily a part of summer season, however they hardly ever make it to Cannes. Yet The Souvenir isn’t any typical two-parter.

Together, the films are a elegant, singular work of semi-autobiography — a coming-of-age self-portrait mirrored by means of time and cinema. They’re primarily based on a interval in Hogg’s life within the late ’80s when she was in movie faculty in London.

In half one, a romance with an older man who has a hidden drug habit ends tragically. In half two, Julie devotes herself to creating her last scholar movie about that have whereas processing her grief. In each, Honor Swinton Byrne performs a barely fictionalized model of Hogg when she was youthful; Byrne’s real-life mom, Tilda Swinton, performs her mother.

Honor Swinton Byrne, left, and Tilda Swinton pose for photographers at the 74th Cannes movie competition. (Photo: AP)

The motion pictures had been written collectively as one piece, unfold throughout two movies. And there’s little or no like them.

“I don’t even feel sure I have completed it,” Hogg says, somewhat stunned to really feel that means. “It’s funny, because I have completed it. I’m not making another part. I don’t know that it’s really dawned on me that it’s finished.”

The Souvenir Part II has been one of many clear standouts at the Cannes Film Festival. It performed within the Directors’ Fortnight, which runs parallel to the Cannes official choice. It’s a hushed, formally composed movie that performed down the Croisette from Cannes’ central Palais.

Still, few motion pictures right here have spawned as a lot fawning over. Hogg’s undertaking has already attracted a wide selection of admirers (Martin Scorsese is an govt producer of each movies). But “The Souvenir Part II,” which a24 will launch, solely enhances Hogg’s achievement.

“I’ve rediscovered a way of making films that I enjoyed when I was at film school before I got sucked into television,” says the 61-year-old Hogg, who didn’t make her characteristic directorial debut till 2007′s “Unrelated.” “It was the making of the film within the film within the film — I don’t know how many inside boxes there are.”

The hall-of-mirrors nature of The Souvenir solely will get weirder. Tilda Swinton, an outdated pal of the director’s, starred in Hogg’s authentic 1986 quick movie, titled “Caprice.” In The Souvenir Part II, Byrne wears a few of her mom’s garments from that point. After the primary Cannes screening of the movie, Swinton mentioned emphatically, “It was a trip.”

Hogg acknowledges that even for her the strains between reminiscence and fiction have blurred. Toward the top of Part II, Julie is interviewed about her scholar movie — a scene that Hogg feels being replayed for herself.

“I almost feel like I’m inside a film as I’m talking to you,” Hogg says, laughing. “We have Julia being interviewed, and she’s saying exact words that I said in an interview in the late ’80s. It’s too weird. Maybe I’m dreaming. Maybe this is a film.”

But if there’s a lot nonetheless unclear for Hogg about her expertise finishing The Souvenir, what’s completely uncomplicated is that, 35 years later, she’s totally realized herself as a filmmaker.

“I feel more emboldened,” says Hogg. “I seem on the surface to be quite reserved and a bit shy — that’s how I feel, anyway. But when it comes to making my work, I’m like a dog with a bone. It’s my lifeblood.”


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