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Critics reviews
Exhibition
Joanna Hogg United Kingdom, 2013
By choosing to make her lead character a female artist, Hogg has allowed herself a degree of psychological acuity that leads deeper into a character’s mind than she’s ever gone before. D is the first totally subjective character in Hogg’s canon and we see things that plainly are the work of, if not her imagination, then her subconscious.
July 10, 2014
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Despite sporadic moments of fantasy, Exhibition is ostensibly as realistic a drama as Hogg’s other films, an evocation of how a certain posh-bohemian social group lives in contemporary London. Yet it is the strangest and boldest British film of the moment—an exhibition in its own right, an installation, in its mystery something like a freestanding object.
July 07, 2014
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Hogg’s creation of equally rich visual and aural landscapes, accompanied by little dialogue and action, results in a film that, like so much of art cinema today, often feels as much like a gallery installation as a traditional narrative.
June 19, 2014
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There’s a smug preciousness to all this. Exhibition is one of those films in which the act of depriving you of even rudimentary details is worn as a badge of artistic honor; the film practically dares you to be bored with it. D and H are artists that are defined as just that: “artists.” It takes an hour, at least, for us to piece together that D does performance pieces.
June 15, 2014
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Hogg quietly subverts the cultural expectations we bring to such modernist monuments, in films and life both. These spaces do not signify sterility but offer spiritual succour; and, contra the claims of D and H’s neighbours that the house is suited to artists rather than families (ie ‘real life’), the film’s final shot shows children playing within the house, not transforming the space but using it.
April 26, 2014
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In Hogg’s hands, every surface is both a literal and figurative mirror; space is expanded in many instances by reflections in glass, marble, and aluminum façades. More is said in Hogg’s impressively precise mise-en-scène than in any of the dialogue, which is as sparse as the film’s interiors. Few recent films have approached matters of anatomical and psychological integrity as democratically as Exhibition.
April 24, 2014
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[Hogg’s] is a style that is at once all her own and simultaneously part of a larger framework of artists who work within the same milieu… This film is one of those that is greater than the sum of its parts; each aspect, from wardrobe to its ingenious sound design, lends itself to a thematic cohesion that is fast becoming Hogg’s calling card. The little things make her like the others, but it’s the big picture that is setting her apart.
March 21, 2014
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Writer-director Joanna Hogg deliberately obscures crucial information about these characters—like what they’re always working on around the apartment or why they’re trying to sell the place if they love it so much—while demonstrating a rigorous control over sound design, framing, and performance style. Her approach recalls that of numerous European art filmmakers (particularly Akerman and Haneke), yet this develops a distinctive air of mystery as it progresses, as well as a wry sense of humor.
March 19, 2014
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Exhibition is exquisitely made, slightly chilly, and one of the most interesting British films in recent years.
November 12, 2013
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Visually, the film is fascinating, particularly for Hogg’s use of the many sightlines, sliding doors, stairways and wells of James Melvin’s labyrinthine house (the film is dedicated to him at the end). Many films unfold a domestic space as central character in the story (from Hitchcock’s Psycho to Schlesinger’s Pacific Heights), but most of those are horror in some form; the only horror here is the vividly depicted doldrums of growing old among the relentlessly hip and urbane.
September 26, 2013
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Hogg’s film, which deftly trades art-world satire for a much more mysterious exploration of marriage and creativity, is greatly aided by Albertine’s fully embodied performance artist, a possible “objectiphile” disposed to erotic encounters with furniture and merging her body with parts of the house, which she almost never leaves.
August 25, 2013
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…An unnervingly precise portrait of an artist couple preparing to vacate their sleek modernist home — a dissection of a marriage in midlife, of the space between two people.
August 20, 2013
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Running the gauntlet of what could potentially turn into a haunted house story, Hogg examines the interdependences of the architecture and the couple’s relationship construct, turning the film into a subtle psychoanalytic study of long-term relationships.
August 15, 2013
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Hogg’s third feature exhibits the filmmaker’s general sensibilities while also providing evidence of a profitably daring departure… Exhibition is a pained and probing study of a couple’s declining marriage, conditioned by the stiff interior of their 18-year abode—a house that Hogg herself has been familiar with for years, having been designed and previously owned by architect James Melvin, to whose memory the film is dedicated.
August 09, 2013
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