OUT OF COMPETITION The third collaboration between Joanna Hogg and Tilda Swinton, The Eternal Daughter could be seen as a spiritual sequel to the two-parter Souvenir, but with a less operatic, though equally personal, edge. The story is that of a middle-aged filmmaker accompanied by her elderly mother on a hotel stay with a family connection. Here, the daughter wishes to make a film about her mother and the inevitable investigation of the past reveals long hidden ghosts.
Gothic, The Eternal Daughter is unambiguously so, registering from its very first images (a mansion lost in a misty forest) in the heritage of the British fantastic literary movement. When the heroine and her elderly mother arrive in this isolated hotel full of gargoyles, aboard an almost anachronistic taxi, one almost wonders if we are not coming to disembark alongside them in the middle of a Hammer film. Here, the corridors are inevitably empty and disturbing, the smallest door creaks stubbornly and mysterious noises seem to come from the top floor… This fascinating decor, which we take pleasure in discovering alongside them, seems ready to reveal their secrets. more disturbing and unconscious. These classic codes, The Eternal Daughter applies them with what one could first take for a fetishistic respect. Joanna Hogg manages to sign an auteur film with contemporary directing biases and very personal writing. In this hotel where they are almost the only residents, aren’t the two heroines intruders, like all the protagonists of Hogg, from Unrelated to The Souvenir II (IndieLisboa Festival 2022)? (Mickäel Gaspar)