Director: Joanna Hogg

Country: United Kingdom, Ireland, USA

Year: 2021

Duration: 1.47

Languages: English

Original name: The Souvenir: Part II

Category: , ,

Part II of Joanna Hogg’s kind-of-and-then-maybe-not-really-that-much-of an autobiographical tale detailing the life lessons a young woman learns during her student years picks up where Part I left us stunned and wondering – and then again: not. Because: Part II tries to make sense of Part I by showing how Julie tries to make her ill-fated affair with well-bred junkie Anthony the subject of her thesis short for film school – only to find out that the way she thought she could tell her story stops fitting her memories and feelings, with other tools and aesthetics suggesting new roads for her art as well as her life. That all this soul-searching doesn’t always go down too well with her fellow students – each a handful, with some serious ego-jocks in the mix – makes matters not exactly easier…

If The Souvenir is a reverie, then The Souvenir: Part II is a think-piece on how unstable reality really is: how depended on the way you perceive it, the way you remember it, the way you want life to have been and be – which sees here, for all of Hogg’s care and control, to a mellowly mad juggling with perspectives and styles. Things change right in front of our eyes. Literally. It has been quite some time since somebody ventured a high modernist monument quite like this!

Joanna Hogg (b. 1960) had a most unusual art trajectory: She started out making Super-8 shorts in the company of Derek Jarman; went only then to film school which she finished with a vividly eccentric work called Caprice (1986) featuring Tilda Swinton; cut her creative teeth for some twenty years on music videos and TV episodes, all culminating in the off-beat EastEnders special Dot’s Story (2003); before she finally was able to present her feature debut, Unrelated (2007). This wide apprenticeship is reflected in some unusual preferences, eg. casting artists like landscape painter Christopher Baker (in Archipelago, 2010) or Slits guitarist Viv Albertine and Relationism theorist/practitioner Liam Gillick (in Exhibition, 2013) in her films. She’s a genius. (Olaf Möller)