Joanna Hogg, an Englishwoman on the Continent

Joanna Hogg has long been England’s best kept secret. Until the French public discovered in February The Souvenir. Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Until July 10, the La Rochelle cinema festival pays tribute to the director of The Souvenir I and II and allows you to discover his first unreleased films.

Special envoy to La Rochelle

Joanna Hogg sets foot in La Rochelle for the first time. And like all festival-goers, the abundant program of this 50 edition makes her salivate. The British filmmaker would like to see The Canterbury Talesby Pier Paolo Pasolini, whom she places very high in her personal pantheon, the subject of a retrospective this year.

Joanna Hogg has long been England’s best kept secret. Until last February, when the French public discovered The Souvenir and The Souvenir Part IIa two-part autofiction in which Hogg evokes a destructive first love, in the 1980s, between Julie, a young film student, and Anthony, a mysterious dandy and junkie.

In this sumptuous diptych, acclaimed at numerous festivals around the world, including Cannes (at the Directors’ Fortnight) in 2021, debutant Honor Swinton Byrne is a revelation. In the role of Julie, she steals the show from Tilda Swinton, her mother in the city and on the screen.

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