Los Angeles Times - 01/30/2009
"[A] distinct pleasure to experience....An unapologetically poetic film that allows British director Terence Davies to ruminate on Liverpool, the city of his birth, and his own life and times there."
Entertainment Weekly - 01/30/2009
"[A] short, beautiful, characteristically sublime memory piece by the great British auteur Terence Davies." -- Grade: A
Box Office - 02/01/2009
"[Terence Davies] returns to his hometown of Liverpool to produce a documentary that's equal parts valentine and poison pen letter....Some of his imagery is stunning..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 06/17/2009 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "The soundtrack includes classical music and pop tunes, and the deep, rich voice of Davies, sometimes quoting poems that match the images. The film invites a reverie."
Chicago Sun-Times - 12/22/2009
Included in Chicago Sun-Times's "The Ten Best Documentaries Of 2009" -- "[With] remarkable archival footage collated from a century."
Acclaimed British filmmaker Terence Davies revisits the city of his youth in the elegiac documentary OF TIME AND THE CITY. A deeply personal evocation of post-World War II Liverpool, the film is a patchwork visual poem woven from archival footage, a mash-up of classical and pop music standards, and Davies's own incantations--delivered in his lugubrious, at times overwrought, elocution. Revealing a caustic wit and a biting contempt for institutions such as the Catholic Church and British royalty, the director underscores his hatred of such symbols by depicting images of the environs of Liverpool's working class, an environment that Davies sneers at as demonstrating "the British genius for the dismal." From the decay of government-built council houses to the crumbling edifices of shipyards, Davies chooses to stare down an urban landscape that echoes his own troubled past. Davies speaks candidly of his own childhood experiences, from the specter of Catholic guilt and the "dark desires" of homosexuality awakened at professional wrestling matches, to the rapture of seeing Hollywood films and musicals--pain and pleasure the filmmaker has sought to come to terms with his whole adult life. Connecting a deeply personal biographical lens to the universal notion of time, place, and home, OF TIME AND THE CITY depicts the psychic dissonance of arriving 35 years later in a city where the ravages of urban blight and rapid gentrification have rendered it completely and utterly transformed.
A beautiful visual poem. A love song and a eulogy to the director's birthplace of Liverpool with images which speak, a layered soundtrack of popular and classical music, voices, radio clips and a poignant voiceover by Mr. Davies.
Non-U.S. Theatrical Release |