Painting in Larger Strokes: Joanna Hogg Discusses "The Souvenir"

Published on May 17, 2019

Disarming in their skittery vulnerability and unyielding portrayals of human disaffection, the films of Joanna Hogg have simmered under-the-radar since her powerful feature debut Unrelated (2007). Critical appraisals of her body of work have correctly found common ground between Hogg’s approach and a number of canonical cinematic heavyweights, but any list of touchstones will blur into obsoletion as the breadth and peculiar combination of the cinephile, photographer, and artist’s collection of interests and inspirations meld into a singular auteurism. Hogg’s latest film, The Souvenir, arrived at Sundance this year with a resounding bang. The portrait of an artist as a young woman, Hogg’s fourth feature is based on her own experiences as a film student in 1980s London. Hogg surrogate Julie (Honor Swinton-Byrne) is a 24-year-old living in a smart flat financed by her wealthy parents. But Julie longs to break through the restrictive bubble of her existence,

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