DIRECTOR - Terence Davies
There's only one thing more embarrassing than an actor with a gun: a British actor with a gun. Ridiculous.
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The Terence Davies Trilogy 1984, Unrated)
Distant Voices, Still Lives 1988, PG-13)
A beautifully poetic, almost dreamlike (and often nightmarish) account of family life in a working class household in 30's - 60's Liverpool. Based on director Terence Davies's own childhood, Distant Voices, Still Lives is raw with emotion and honesty, giving a very real version of life back there and then and the hardships people shared but also the good times people enjoyed. Everything you need to know is explained in either the violent actions of loved ones or in the songs they sang to each other. A masterpiece and an English classic.
The Long Day Closes 1992, PG)
The Neon Bible 1996, Unrated)
The House of Mirth 2000, PG)
Of Time and the City 2009, Unrated)
A visual poem of love and nostalgia. Terrance Davis uses only archive film in this voyage of memory of Liverpool, the city of his birth. It does feel, as it was intended, like a long newsreel people used to watch at the cinema before home televisions but with Davis own honest, wonderful and sometimes poisonous meditations. This isn't just an exercise in sentimentality though, nor is it an essay on why life was better back then. You can't love something without being fearlessly protective of it and Davis's film shows Liverpool's faults as well as its triumphs and isn't afraid to point out the sources. It's hypnotic, splendid and something to behold. If you don't know Terrance Davis, you don't know real England (or what is great about it anyway).
The Deep Blue Sea 2012, R)
Terence Davies's version of The Deep Blue Sea is dreamy, blurred and woozy. It's almost like a theatrical daydream. I didn't dig it at first if I'm being honest but it really is a slow-burner and one I ended up loving. The story is tragic, melancholy and depressing - my kind of film but it does also have a lighter and beautiful side. The script is perfect. Some of the lines are are absolute gold "Love is wiping someone else's arse.." etc. The actors at first seemed unsuitable but towards the end I realised why they were cast, there was something unspecific about their performances that worked. What the hell am I going on about right? It's a strange one, hard to explain really but I would recommend.