The Long Day Closes (1992)

TERENCE DAVIES

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  

United Kingdom, 1992.  , , .  Screenplay by Terence Davies.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Podcast:  The Criterion Collection

Exquisite masterpiece from the filmmaker who always makes movies that seem to come out of lingering dreams. Here he focuses on Liverpool in the post-war era, dipping into his own memories of his mother and his childhood for a seemingly formless but razor-sharp appreciation of all the beauty that life provides in the middle of hardship and chaos. Something as simple as a woman giving her child money to go to the movies becomes incredibly moving under Davies’ deft touch, but it’s not all softness: Davies is as unapologetic about the fun he had with his family as he is about their reaction to having a black man show up on their doorstep. The languid images combine with a whole slew of musical selections from his youth (some of them played in their entirety) to make for a deeply heartfelt exercise in nostalgia. It rides on the edge between conventional narrative cinema and Jarman-esque experimentation, but its beauty is so profound that it never alienates its viewer. Received the rare honour of a ten-minute standing ovation at its Cannes premiere, and it is easy to see why.

The Criterion Collection:  #694

Cannes Film Festival:  In Competition

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