Archipelago

Joanna Hogg's absurdist comedy focuses on the drama inevitably brought on by a family reunion

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Joanna Hogg’s second film, 'Archipelago', is a brilliantly well observed half absurdist comedy, half chaotic drama about a well-to-do English family who, now all grown up, reunite at the house where they used to spend summer holidays. After the initial jubilance of reunion fades, the pettiness of old squabbles resurfaces. Aggressive realist Cynthia constantly battles to force her brother, self-proclaimed ethical crusader and ideologist Edward (Tom Hiddleston), down from the clouds and away from his African charity mission. Weary mother Patricia is kept on the edge of sanity and emotional collapse by phone calls from their estranged husband and father who repeats promises of his imminent arrival.

Among the familial turmoil, stoic painter and charming retiree Christopher acts like a sponge for everyone’s anxieties, slowly postponing the mass eruption of collecting tensions. 'Archipelago' deals in an immersive way with pretty universal tensions created when, after years of experimenting with their individuality, siblings force themselves into old patterns in a situation they both love and despise. Watching it is extremely funny and affecting and, helped by a witty script, palpates with a sense of comfort and irritation. Dazed Digital met with director Joanna Hogg and actor Tom Hiddleston to talk about the inspiration for the film...

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