I’ve now watched all four of Joanna Hogg’s films. Here they are from most recent to oldest:
The Souvenir 2019
Unrelated 2007 originally, made a USA splash in 2014
And here’s what I have to say first. It’s a sad state of affairs, when lesser movies like Assayas’ Non-Fiction get more local attention than a masterpiece like The Souvenir. Specifically, trendy artsy conversations (as in Non-Fiction, vindicated by a favorite film podcast movies.imo as intellectual masturbation and also by the film God Martin Scorsese who was executive producer of The Souvenir) some how trumps heroin amongst a similar bourgeois population.
It’s not that something wicked has to befall wealthy people, yet without a conflict, (in Non-Fiction, they’re all cheating on each other except for the emotionally abusive character) a movie doesn’t really resonate. Again, to agree with the imo movies men, the characters in Non-Fiction are forgettable.
Now I sound like someone on the Democratic panel last night moaning about current digression rather than talk about the positive.
Despite my defending The Souvenir, it’s not my favorite of the four Hogg films, though second is nothing to feel remorse over. In the top spot would be her first film “Unrelated” which stars a very young Tom Hiddleston (26) (who Hogg uses in roles both big and small in all but The Souvenir) and Kathryn Worth. In this film, Worth is the fifth, no make that seventh wheel of a family on vacation in Sicily. Without spoiling this (you can watch it on VuDu for free), Worth is going through a bit of a mid-life crisis and Hiddleston is a young and restless youth corrupting the morals of the nuclear family’s young adults.
What’s delicious about all of Hogg’s movies is she’s a reliable artist where you’ll find all of these trinkets in every film:
wind in trees, long winding paths
boisterous shots juxtaposed with quiet nature
the theme of disconnection or search for true self
If you’ve never seen a Hogg film, seek one out, they’re meditative voyeuristic compelling features that may annoy you at the beginning, but I dare you to walk away from there deep magnetism.