The British filmmaker – still confidential in France despite the warm critical reception reserved for her previous feature films The Souvenir Part I and II, a diptych produced by a certain Martin Scorsese – assumes her obsessions and this is what makes her work, strong of six feature films, a testamentary corpus and fascinating cinematographic puzzle. Eternal Daughter, his last film in theaters today, moves away from pastel and hushed dramas to navigate on the side of the Gothic tale but crystallizes the quintessence of his cinema . If he will not put an end to his filmography – the filmmaker already has other ideas for the sequel – he responds in mirror to all of his work. Because all of Joanna Hogg’s cinema is geometric, almost architectural, a cinema of duality. “I think more and more about the connections between my films. They are like different members of the same family and even though I work in different genres, I think I am guided by obsessions that take multiple forms. Finally I hope so.”Variable GeometryAlso seen on KonbiniIn Exhibition in 2013, she filmed the last days of a couple in their architect’s house before a reluctant move. One is upstairs, drawing plans, the other is downstairs, thinking about his next exhibition. They say sweet words to each other on the telephone and it is a play of sliding doors, armored doors, reflections in large bay windows and windows on the street which structured the framework of this almost closed door. Part II of The Souvenir responded in a diptych to part I of the film. After having filmed Julie, alter ego of Joanna Hogg, between the four walls of her apartment, under the influence of a toxic and drug-addicted companion, she offered her emancipation and the realization of her cinema dreams in a second part open to the outside. Even her first film, Unrelated, featured a group of friends on vacation in Tuscany but who all revolved around an ambiguous duo. In Eternal Daughter, she once again encloses two characters, this time mother and girl, in a gothic mansion. Julie and Rosalind spend a few days together in an old hotel where the latter lived as a child. The opportunity for the second to feed on the stories of this adored mother, which she records in secret on her smartphone, to write her next screenplay. Thanks to a perfectly mastered shot-reverse shot device, the chameleon Tilda Swinton embodies these two characters who converse in mirror image. But two — and not three — is Joanna Hogg’s lucky number. As in The Souvenir, the daughter is also called Julie and she is a director, the mother is also called Rosalind, Tilda Swinton embodies the two characters of this last film after having embodied the mother of Julie, interpreted by her real daughter in The Memory. But Eternal Daughter isn’t the final installment in a trilogy. movies. It may be the same characters but that’s it, it’s a different story and the movies aren’t meant to be connected together.” his producer Martin Scorsese, a lover of the genre, who submitted to him the short story They by Rudyard Kipling, “the first ghost story that moved me to tears and made me realize that the story of a mother/ daughter could also be gothic and spooky“. After being haunted by the ghost of her enigmatic ex-heroin addict whom she never managed to understand, Julie is in this new film haunted by the ghost of her mother whom she loves dearly. overflowing, almost one-sided love. Tilda Swinton and Joanna Hogg have been friends since childhood and knew their respective mothers. That of the actress died several years ago, that of the director left during the Covid-19 pandemic and it was Swinton who suggested to Hogg the idea of embodying the two characters in the film themselves. .A particularly personal film for the two friends, who also know how to capture this moving moment of change in the life of a child who must in turn take care of his parent. Here it is Julie who organizes, who anticipates, who worries, a devotion encapsulated in the many one-to-one meal scenes, sometimes upsetting, often embarrassing. “I remember many awkward family meals when I was a child and still today, I am not at all comfortable with large dinner parties. I do not like it. In Exhibition, the female character even pretended to faint to get out of a dinner with friends she didn’t like. , her student apartment reproduced identically, the decor — here, that of an old hotel à la Shining, Jouy tapestry in the cozy rooms, green neon lights in the disturbing corridors — is once again a character in its own right .“Location always comes first. For each of my six films, I thought of the location before thinking of the characters within. For me, it’s the setting that gives all the atmosphere to the film so that’s what I have to think about first. For Eternal Daughter, we were in the middle of the pandemic, we couldn’t travel, I I just typed ‘haunted houses’ on Google and came across photos of this hotel from the 1970s, in black and white. They were such striking images. Then, I learned that no film had ever been shot there and I found it very exciting to know that it was a kind of virgin territory. is then a ballet of creaking windows, slamming doors, labyrinthine corridors and spiral staircases that she goes up and down, which occupy a prominent place in the film. The director and former photographer once again pays particular attention to her frames, worked in a photographic way, in a film full of visual inventiveness, all in play of reflection and light. “For each of my films, I take photos which become an inspiration for the staging and which illustrate my scripts. They are important for the construction of the scenery but also for defining the light, the atmosphere, the location of the characters in these places. For Eternal Daughter, the first time I visited the house, I took photos in 35 mm which really helped me to understand the shapes and frames that I like.”Tom Hiddleston was the muse of her first films, a tall, spectral blond whom she observed on courtship in Tuscany or in introspection on the island from Tresco. Tilda Swinton, whom she directed from her first graduation short film, is the muse of her latest films; ghostly actress, sometimes mother, sometimes daughter, but always reclusive in the misty English countryside. miss.
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