The Souvenir is a drama film collaboration between America and England. The film was directed and written by Joanna Hogg. Joanna is a British director and writer.
The film is set in the early 80s. There is a film student named Julie who lives in a small flat in London’s Knightsbridge. Julie’s character is played by a newcomer actress, Honor Swinton Byrne.
Julie lives with friends who live freely. One day, her friends leave for a tour, leaving Julie alone in the flat. At that time, there appeared a man named Anthony, played by a British actor, Tom Burke. He was a young man in a proud, hard-line suit. Anthony works as a junior in the Foreign Office.
Anthony has the ability to play around with Julie’s discomfort. He often asked directly skeptical and confusing questions about Julie’s work. Anthony also tried to seduce Julie by taking her to the Wallace Collection Museum to see a painting by Fragonard entitled The Souvenir.
Many Games Online dan Offline people are worried about Julie because Anthony is a person who cannot be trusted. For Anthony’s sake, Julie opposed her protective mother and worried friends. He is trapped deeper and deeper with emotional and intense relationships. Even their relationship went into a dangerous stage because it risked destroying Julie’s dreams.
The Souvenir has already received plaudits as a breakthrough for this director – although I don’t think she needed a “breakthough”, given that each of her three previous films has been a triumphantly creative leap forward for those open-minded enough to see them . The rather lovely poster image of its two leads might induce audiences to expect something romantic and comfortingly mainstream. Wrong The Souvenir is an artefact in the highest auteur register. Its absence of tonal readability is a challenge. But there is also a cerebally fierce, slow-burn passion in its austere, unemphasised plainness.
Hogg conducts her dramatic business in a sort of indoor available light, with characters often receding into semi-darkness if they walk away from windows: a look Hogg has contrived in her other films. It is a film about the upper classes, but not in the Downton Abbey style: it is about the upper classes as they actually are, in the dull day-to-day; a social realist movie about posh people. It’s as if Hogg has found a contemporary English response to the rhetoric of Antonioni or Visconti.
Hogg creates an almost trance-like state with the film, which she shakes off when Anthony and Julie host a dinner party attended by Anthony’s insufferable film-maker friend (a hilarious cameo for Richard Ayoade) who brayingly announces that it is appalling how Britain, the home of the Stones, the Kinks and the Small Faces, still doesn’t do movie musicals. (He doesn’t mention the Who, so is maybe not a fan of Tommy.) It is this character who will reveal the poison cloud gathering over the head of poor innocent Julie.
The Souvenir is at least partly autobiographical on Hogg’s part, and it sometimes feels as if it is circling around and around a memory that is too painful to be approached directly, of an episode which arguably endangered her development as an artist and in another way stimulated it. But there is something so coolly elegant in this circling – a choreography of young love, and a talent preparing to take flight.