OF TIME AND THE CITY
Terence Davies narrates and discusses everything and anyone about his city of Liverpool, using mainly archival footage and his own memories, observations and opinions. He reveals much about his image of Liverpool, but also of himself.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
With this film, Terence Davies proves not only that he can find a story in even a place like Liverpool, but that he can make it poetic and interesting. His elocution is smooth, his voice a pleasant growl, his ideas and emotions flowing over the images like a mix of silk and grit. From the frozen moments of old black and white stills, given robust life by Davies, to the richly coloured images of churches, gaudy with devotion, to the masses at a football match.... When it was played in black and white and when sportsmen knew sportsmanship and never punched the air in victory. Such is the aesthetic of Davies, and it informs this doco with grace and passion, anger and adoration all rolled into one superb outflow of words and images.
He even manages to insert and excerpt from the old BBC radio comedy favourite, Around the Horn, with an apposite remark. It leads to a moving and elegant confession - one of several - made with agony and ecstasy. So it's as much about his writing as about his filmmaking; it is cinema, yes, but proving that in the beginning must be The Word. But yes of course, the selection, the filtering that goes into the film is also his; that, too, is a work of art.
Using a complex palette of music, Davies works this tapestry into a sensory experience like all good films - emotion drawn out of the mix. Indeed, he draws a nostalgic kind of beauty out of what is frankly, an ugly place.
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OF TIME AND THE CITY (M)
PRODUCER: Roy Boulter, Sol Papadopoulos
DIRECTOR: Terence Davies
SCRIPT: Terence Davies
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Tim Pollard
EDITOR: Liza Ryan-Carter
MUSIC: Ian Neil - music supervisor
RUNNING TIME: 72 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Sharmill Films
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 12, 2009 (Sydney: Dendy Newtown, Melbourne: Cinema Nova Carlton, Dendy Portside, Brisbane and Dendy, Canberra.)