This list is by no means definitive or personal, just an import from the MUBI list here.
I'm not entirely…
An intimate examination of a contemporary artist couple, whose living and working patterns are threatened by the imminent sale of their home.
Three years on from her last release Archipelago director Joanna Hogg returns with a far more distant, difficult film to digest. The themes of family and relationships still continue in her work although in a far less explainable and obvious manner this time round. Make no mistake about it this is a difficult film to penetrate, utilising an art-house style that doesn't lend itself to a traditional narrative.
The house in which husband and wife H and D - we never learn their full names - is used as a device framed around their relationship to reflect the state of their marriage. The structure is a large, very cold unwelcoming place that the middle class artists have lived together in…
Joanna Hogg' third feature is as art-house as it gets, being about a literal 'art-house'. Married couple H & D (Viv Albertine and Liam Gillick) a performance artist and architect who have lived in their strange, boxy house for eighteen years.
They have a slightly estranged existence; communicating with each other mainly via intercom as they go about their separate projects. The quietness of their space is constantly interrupted by various muffled thumps and sirens from outside - normal sounds, but strange and intrusive in their hermetic environment; as if their home is haunted by their shared past.
Sadly, the premise is the most interesting thing about Exhibition. It is mind-numbingly slow, and the characters are too distant and cold to…
A fascinating and stark scrutiny of an artist couple's marriage and and it's relationship within the walls it has occupied for the past 18 years.
Hogg's film is at times voyeuristic and uncomfortable to watch. Punctuated by the everyday sounds of urban life rather than reliance on dialogue, when the couple do speak the awkward gaps in their conversations seem more important than the words they use. The intimate portrayal of the couple's lacking sex life is also uncomfortable viewing, perhaps all the more as it is portrayed by non professional actors. Ultimately, though, I found this minimalist exploration into the human psyche and our connections to our space a compelling work of art.
One of the years most original films.
Interesting to see a lead role for Viv Albertine from The Slits. But the 'tale' of two artists selling their home is not what floats my boat. Aggressively mundane but I'm sure it could be appreciated on a level similar to how I dig the occasional mumblecore.
Not for me.
The more I reflect on Exhibition, the more I wonder whether director Joanna Hogg's deliberate obliqueness of address isn't ultimately as self-defeating as it is engrossing in the moment.
Oh, don't get me wrong: If you pay attention to Hogg's images, it's not that difficult to pick up on the many ideas that float freely throughout the film. The central artist couple, visual/performance artist D (Viv Albertine) and architect H (Liam Gillick), live in an immaculate, seemingly spotless apartment that—through images of blinds obscuring views inside and outside the apartment, blurred window reflections, and sound design that brilliantly adds extra emphasis on offscreen noises outside the apartment—more often than not feels like a kind of prison especially for D, who…
To be fair it was very similar to a performative video in a museum exhibition.
This drama, about a couple whose relationship is enveloped in the loft they share, is more isolated than other Joanna Hogg films; only D and H are the developing characters. There's a lot of tension between them, created by the separation the loft creates, their jobs, or both, and it seemed like it could've been easily resolved much earlier than it was. Maybe an additional character - a child or relative - would've made it more relatable and less awkward.
I had the impression going in that this was going to be an interminable series of neurotic flare-ups. Instead it’s a careful observation of moments both mundane and enigmatic that seems atypical of most British cinema. The way the house itself supplants intimacy and family in this couple’s relationship may not be a terribly familiar experience, but feels authentically, if obliquely, rendered. Casting an ex-member of the Slits also adds an interesting wrinkle.
Elegiac, tense, emotionally and sexually intimate, patience-testing and irritating.
Boring and almost without music.
Confident filmmaking, to be sure, Exhibition refuses to sentimentalize or editorialize its characters, observing them almost clinically for the duration of its run time. That the film eventually breaks through with a pretty strong wave of emotional catharsis suggests the power of the careful, observational style. Furthermore, the construction of the film is consistently surprising, leaving one always unsure of just what is coming next. That its characters remain too distant is its only stumble.
Non-actors Viv Albertine (of The Slits) and Turner-nominated Liam Gillick play a successful artist couple living in a fortress-like modernist London flat. The flat becomes the stage for their marital sexual dysfunction as we witness the slowly and almost silently played out aftermath to some undisclosed event. This is the just kind of acting I enjoy the most - natural pace and dialogue. So often when art and artists are portrayed in narrative film it feels like caricatures of art and artists. Not in this film. The discussions of their art practice seemed real and believable. And so does their faltering relationship as they endeavour to connect on an intimate level, trying to find ways to heal and move on from whatever caused the hiccup in their lives.
Παρακολουθείς και νιωθεις στο πετσί σου τη μονοτονία ενός ζευγαριού, που σε κανει να αναρωτιέσαι αν η αγάπη τρώγεται ή απλά υποκρίνεται οτι υπάρχει, μέχρι να επέλθει καθίζηση και να καθαρίσει το τοπιο. Και στο τέλος κάθεσαι και μετράς τις στιγμές με τετραγωνικά ενός σπιτικού που φτιάχτηκε με θεμέλιο εκείνη την "αγάπη".
Τα έλεγε ο Πάριος αλλα δεν τον ακούγατε... "Το πουλάω το σπιτι"
It figures that the first of Hogg's films to trim the fat and come out feeling smoothly paced is the most inscrutable. There are plenty of threads to consider but I'm not sure it's clear what the deeper anxiety is that afflicts D, or what it is that resolves it.
Films Directed or Co-Directed by Women
Ranking are determined by a point system based on a movie's number of appearances on critics' top ten lists.