Joanna Hogg's Brilliant Self-fiction | Culture

For two decades, the British Joanna Hogg (London, 59 years) worked in television series. "However, I always felt like a film director," she says, with her exquisite English, at the Seville film festival, which dedicates a retrospective. "I started as a photographer, I went to film school and ended up on TV. And really, I never doubted. I was always developing ideas for movies. Maybe the thought that maybe I was not going to cross my head direct a long, but come on, it took me 30 minutes in two decades. " Time put it in its place and now presents in Spain The Souvenir, its fourth film, Grand Prize of the Jury of the last Sundance contest, which has had the executive production of Martin Scorsese, and in which Hogg, which dominates the reflection of the seemingly calm and volcanic relationships in the underground, she has entered into self-fiction: she is, and is not, her protagonist.

The Souvenir shows the love story in the early eighties between Julie, a good family film student, who is paid an apartment in the exclusive Knightsbridge neighborhood, west London, and a strange guy, who works in the Ministry Foreign Affairs The relationship, evidently toxic, and marked by his drug use, balks Julie's life and studies. “Songs, historical details such as hostage-taking in the Iranian embassy or the bomb in Harrods stores are part of my memories. But I have a bad memory and above all, I really want to fiction history. ” Self-fiction, a great genre in literature, does not usually appear on the screens: “It has not been a comfortable trip, of course, but I have found a lot of pleasure in diving in what I felt then, as my desire to conquer the world of cinema and at the same time my lack of confidence. The best thing has been to recover my work from then to serve as documentary elements in the film. ”


In order to embody Julie-Joanna, Hogg has sought a new face, that of Honor Swinton Byrne, and for her mother's life the life was not complicated: the royal mother of Honor, Tilda Swinton, Hogg's old friend, accepted the challenge. "Tilda met my mother, and she has mixed mine and his to build the character," he says. And about the collaboration with Scorsese, he explains: “He saw my second feature, Archipelago, and since then we have been in contact. Generous with his time, he saw the first montage of my third film, Exhibition, gave me wise advice, and helped me to boost The Souvenir. "The filmmaker praises Scorsese's effort to safeguard the audiovisual and concludes:" I completely agree in his fight for author cinema and his comments on the films that let us see on the big screen. "

Hogg defends the importance of the object. And the superiority of the analog over the digital, the advantage of the celluloid as a carrier of memories and images. It is tangible. And restorable. “I want the viewer to feel the sensuality of the objects. I like how Almodóvar develops that feeling, ”he says. "Any digital file can disappear at a stroke, it is dangerous."

"I have found much pleasure in diving in what I felt then, as my desire to conquer the world of cinema and at the same time my lack of confidence"

From thatcherismo, whose social destruction appears at the beginning in the film that the protagonist thought, Hogg remembers that inspired him at the time. Although he points out: “If something so depressive can inspire you. I really wanted to shoot a film like the one in The Souvenir, a drama in the devastated city of Sunderland. With 20 years you are interested in just what surrounds you. In the end, it hurt me not to have done it. ” Now he is riding The Souvenir 2, which he shot in summer, and confesses: “I am quite lost mixing reality and fiction. Because in this continuation Julie already begins to recapitulate about her life. And I haven't managed to end the dialogue between movies and memories, they step on each other. ”