London in the early 1980s. “We don't know what the inner machinations of their mind are, or their heart. But that's what we want to know when we go and see a film... We wanna see life as it is experienced,” points out a pretentious, mysterious stranger that has charmed the young film student Julie. As a balancing force to this consuming love affair, she is enchanted by her namesake, heroine of J. J. Rousseau’s novel, in the J. H. Fragonard’s painting The Souvenir. Feelings seek sources that assert their superiority over rational moral principles, and, as Rococo is embodied in a refined intimacy, it is a classical instrument to veil one’s confusion in the insecure world full of suffering.
This dark relationship drama made by the British director of auteur cinema has autobiographical origins. The leading female roles are played by Honor Swinton Byrne and her mother, Tilda Swinton.
Curator's point of view: Joanna Hogg’s film is as multi-layered as one cares to discover – it has references to her own youth in the 1980’s London as well as hidden messages of art history and philosophy.