The Souvenir

A shy film student begins to find her voice as an artist when she gets engaged in a turbulent courtship with a charismatic but untrustworthy man.

Time & Tickets

Between script pitches and camera setups, Julie hosts a film-school cohort party where she meets a mysterious man named Anthony. A few days later, Anthony invites Julie to a grand hotel and asks to stay with her for a few days. Thus begins Julie’s first serious love affair. Ignoring her friends and borrowing large amounts of money from her parents, Julie surrenders to the relationship and prioritizes Anthony’s needs.

Set in the ’80s and based on writer/director Joanna Hogg’s real-life experiences, THE SOUVENIR elegantly elevates quotidian moments into a story of unforgettable love. The intensely naturalistic dialogue hints at the characters’ disquietude and vulnerability as they slowly unravel. Though the film features an outstanding supporting cast – including Tilda Swinton and Richard Ayoade – it’s Honor Swinton-Byrne’s (daughter of Tilda) breakout performance as Julie that embodies the film’s core: a woman grappling with separating fact from fiction as her ambitions are jeopardized by her first real romance.

Please note: In this period, Lumière will also show THE SOUVENIR: PART II.

Joanna Hogg, UK, 2019, 120 min. English spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Honor Swinton Byrne, Tom Burke, Tilda Swinton.

Not many people can call themselves Martin Scorsese’s friend and student. Joanna Hogg can. After working in television for many years, she released her debut feature film UNRELATED - a painful psychological family drama - in 2007, aged forty-seven. Her follow-up, called ARCHIPELAGO and released in 2010, ended up in Scorsese’s DVD player while he was shooting HUGO in London. In a recent conversation with Hogg he stated “I started to like it after I turned it off.” A friendship followed.
Now they also work together. Scorsese produced THE SOUVENIR and Joanna Hogg recently joined the board of directors of Scorsese’s Film Foundation, a non-profit organisation aimed at protecting, conserving and restoring historic films. They also share a love for old Hollywood musicals (LADY IN THE DARK, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN), Bob Fosse (ALL THAT JAZZ) and Italian neorealism (Rossellini, de Sica).
THE SOUVENIR: PART II is already in the making. The first part is about a first tragic romance, the second part will be about the young woman (Hogg) bursting that bubble. In short, THE SOUVENIR is one story in two, maybe potentially three, parts, almost like a piece of music.

All this is discussed in a conversation between Hogg and Scorsese for production company A24 that’s made into a podcast. Curious?