Archipelago can’t help but stand out as a depiction of wealthy toffs. In a repeat of the central motif of director Joanna Hogg’s debut film Unrelated, an upper middle class family is holidaying in an exotic corner of Europe. Bitter and resentful of one another, their disappointment towards life is apparent in every perfectly composed scene. Long still pictures of a leisurely vacation on one of the lush Scilly Isles are marred by the characters’ miserable bickering.
The filmmaking process is somehow being allegorised here. Daughter Cynthia (Lydia Leonard) neurotically insists on a ludicrously particular seating arrangement when the five protagonists visit a local restaurant. Painter Christopher, one of two outsiders who infiltrate the familial gathering, counteracts his apparent sadness at being single and childless through his work’s obsession with colour and tonality. Is art the only way for the privileged to deal with their boredom and discontent? Hogg seems to be suggesting so. [Helen Wright]
Showing at Glasgow Film Festival 2011http://www.glasgowfilm.org/festival/whats_on/2183_archipelago