TV Films: 1988–1996
Flesh & Blood / Dancehouse 8 / Staying Alive: Episode 4 + Bonus Tracks
Joanna Hogg’s debut television commission was FLESH AND BLOOD, a mini-series (or more precisely “micro-soap”) comprising quarter-hour episodes shown on Sunday afternoons during the groundbreaking Channel 4 youth programme Network 7. Watch out for the inimitably sinister Polish character actor Vladek Sheybal, a reliably superb background fixture of British cinema and television for decades. The nautically-themed DANCEHOUSE 8 was one of a dozen short dance films designed specifically for TV (other segments were handled by different directors, including Anthony Minghella). This particular episode – making some amusing use of various waterborne craft – combines Aletta Collins’s sparkling open-air choreography with a score by the seminal modern-classical composer Steve Martland (1954–2013). An intelligently sombre, adult-oriented ITV drama set in a residence for nurses employed at a large London hospital, STAYING ALIVE ran for a dozen instalments between 1996–1997. The chosen example provides a very early leading role for the outstanding British performer Sophie Okonedo, who less than a decade later was to pick up a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the Oscars for Terry George’s Hotel Rwanda (2005). (Neil Young)
Born in London in 1960, Joanna Hogg resides and works in the United Kingdom’s capital. She studied at the National Film & Television School in Buckinghamshire, where her graduation film, CAPRICE (1986), starred “Matilda” (a.k.a. Tilda) Swinton in a very early screen appearance for the future Oscar-winner. Hogg also worked in photography, experimental film and music video, and her television work in the 1990s included episodes of the popular series LONDON'S BURNING, CASUALTY and LONDON BRIDGE, plus the stand-alone EASTENDERS special DOT'S STORY (2003). In 2007, her debut feature UNRELATED (2007), set in Tuscany and featuring Tom Hiddleston in his big-screen debut, premiered at the London Film Festival, winning the international critics' FIPRESCI award. Her 2010 follow-up ARCHIPELAGO, set on the Scilly Isles off the Cornish coast, received three nominations - Best Film, Best Screenplay and Best Actor (Hiddleston) – at the Evening Standard British Film Awards. In 2013, her third film EXHIBITION (2013) competed for the Golden Leopard at Locarno, and her work was showcased in the Emerging Artist sidebar of the 51st New York Film Festival.
Great Britain 1988-1996
ca. 75 minutes