The Souvenir Part II (1)

We had been much looking forward to the sequel of The Souvenir, Joanna Hogg’s semi-autobiographical – actually, so far as we could tell, very accurately autobiographical – film about her fraught love affair with Anthony (aka Nick Coker), who in the film is depicted as devious and over-ripe and in some way, very ill-defined, involved with the Foreign Office, which indeed the real-life Nick Coker probably was, but we will now never know. It half conveyed how intensely glamorous Anthony/Nick was, so not surprising that his death lives on into her entrée into film-making, where reality merges with art in ways which are highly complex, layered in ways which are probably deliberately puzzling. In Part II, she makes her graduation film. She is having to come to terms with Anthony’s death (he was a heroin addict). She goes to visit his parents, who have lost their only son and is annoyed by Julien Temple’s cavalier attitude to the death of Anthony (Patrick in the film), who had been his closest friend. The film is beautiful, true to someone finding her identity as a film-maker in opposition to her unhelpful tutors, but also, to us at least, unresolved. Maybe that’s the point of the film. True to life.

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