THE SOUVENIR PART II is both a sequel and a beginning, but stands alone as a filmic work of art (so don’t worry if you missed the first part) and manages to be both more universal and more intimate than it's acclaimed predecessor.
In the aftermath of her tumultuous relationship with a charismatic and manipulative older man, Julie (another terrific performance from Honor Swinton Byrne) begins to untangle her fraught love for him in making her graduation film, sorting fact from his elaborately constructed fiction. Her mother (played, wonderfully, by Tilda Swinton, Byrne’s mother in real life) tries to soothe her through her mourning, a fluttering, protective warmth lurking beneath her aristocratic coolness. Her father (James Spencer Ashworth, also terrific) is a practical and somewhat distracted country dad who’s trying, not always successfully, to understand what his daughter is up to. Joanna Hogg’s shimmering story of first love and a young woman’s formative years, THE SOUVENIR PART II is a portrait of the artist that transcends the halting particulars of everyday life — a singular, alchemic mix of memoir and fantasy.
THE SOUVENIR PART II also portrays the ragged beauty of the 1980’s like no other film, capturing the look and feel of young people in a world before the internet. People just getting by while trying to make something happen, striving to do new things, but also just figuring out how to live. A film about grief, self-discovery, the daunting uncertainties of the creative process and, before and after everything else, the mysterious power of the movie medium, THE SOUVENIR PART II is a sublime masterpiece. We couldn't be more pleased to bring this film to the Pageant as our inaugural reopening offering!
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