Composite Memory, Reparative Pleasure and the Shedding of a Filmic Skin: Joanna Hogg’s 'The Souvenir'

Davina Quinlivan


The Souvenir, Hogg’s auto-biographical fourth feature film, opens with stark, grainy black and white photographic stills of Northern England, Sunderland, during its industrial height. Above all, the object-hood of these images is acutely prescient of the centrality of materiality in Hogg’s film. Our attentiveness to this process is key. Indeed, this epigraph haunts us long after we have entered into the subsequent, diegetic space of Julie’s apartment, transmitting a very tangible and vivid sense of the past which, as we shall see, will only come into sharp focus through our close attention to its abstraction. This article will privilege Hoggs’ employment of the filmic medium as a means through which to construct a ‘composite’ evocation of memory and invite further reflection on what I call 'reparative pleasure' in the film experience. 


trauma, memory, Klein, reparation

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