Despite being her first feature, Unrelated quickly established Hogg as a director whose sharp eye and ability to resist the technical conventions of Hollywood cinema has ensured her films are bursting with genuine realism, deeply influenced by the work of Eric Rhomer and Japanese filmmaker Yasujirō Ozu. The film follows forty-something Anna (Kathryn Worth), who takes a holiday to Tuscany to escape the pressures of her relationship back home. Although she stays with her oldest friend, she finds she has more in common the family's teenage son than the 'olds' she should probably be hanging out with.
The BFI's Made in Britain series saw a month-long celebration of British female directors, the programme including screenings of films by Andrea Arnold, Clio Barnard and Lynne Ramsay. Though the series gave some much-deserved attention to some of our best British talent, it seems there are still plenty of hurdles in place for both aspiring female directors, and established ones like Hogg. The director spoke of the necessity to keep budgets low to produce films which tell the stories of women who are "a certain age". There were also fervent nods from the crowd when she spoke of Hollywood's "obsession with youth", despite the fact that audiences are in fact eager to watch films that feature older protagonists.
Hogg's next film will be set in London, and will follow a middle-aged couple who plan to leave the big city behind them. It may not sound like much of a departure from her usual subject matter, but if Hogg's previous films are anything to go by, then it's precisely her crafting of this type of story that makes realism suddenly all the more alluring.