Terence Davies’s ode to his native Liverpool has wowed audiences and critics alike after being hailed as the highlight of the 2008 Cannes Film Festival where it received its premiere. This is a spectacular return to form by Davies, long-hailed as one of Britain’s greatest filmmakers. Of Time and the City is an illuminating and heartfelt work, powerfully evoking life in post-war Britain while exploring the nature of love, memory, and the toll that the passing years take on the cities and communities that we cherish. No simple documentary, it is an entrancing piece of autobiographical cinema that reaches far beyond the city in which it is set, weaving a rich tapestry from archive and contemporary footage, music, voice, literary quotation, personal reminiscence and wickedly funny observation.
- Of Time and the City review by SK
(0) of (0) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 1
I suspect the buzz around this poor film probably has more to do with relief that great British auteur Terence Davies has finally managed to make another film, rather than its merits. The archive footage is certainly fascinating, but otherwise Davies merely repeats things he has done much better before (e.g. in The Long Day Closes) such as using Mahler and Doris Day over brooding still life images of working class lives. Such new material as there is (maybe 10 minutes in all) is dull travelogue stuff and with the exception of the striking opening image there is nothing to remind us of Davies' past brilliance with tracking and process shots. The worst aspect, however, is the grumpy old man's rant that is Davies' commentary, juxtaposing charmless bile against the Catholic church and the royal family, for instance, with scraps torn from TS Eliot, without eloquence, irony, or insight. Humphrey Jennings it is not, and I do hope TD hasn't blown the possibility of his long-cherished "Sunset Song" project with this substandard and self-indulgent piece of work.