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Of Time and the City

Director:  Terence Davies
Year Released:  2008
Rating:  3.5

This marvelously edited free-form documentary about Davies' hometown of Liverpool is made up of archival footage of its poor past and freshly-shot images of a resurging city - the harmonious blend of haunting, grainy pictures, well-chosen music and Davies' distinctive voice just flowed over and through me (this is very much a movie for a certain mood; I watched it on a day when I was physically drained but mentally alert). It's true that it is, for the director, not something new or especially challenging - since two of his fictions works are precisely about growing up in Liverpool - but this idea of constantly rebuilding, revisiting and rethinking one's past and finding different things to cherish is an essential theme in the cinema (Fellini made a career out of it). The style suggests Derek Jarman's 8mm experiments - and especially his The Last of England - and Davies is just as critical of his homeland, except I get the impression Davies is the more romantic of the two.

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