Terence Davies: Of Time and the City

Sometimes you have high expectations and get disappointed. Sometimes your expectations are fulfilled. Sometimes you get much much more than you expected even if you had high expectations.

Terence Davies. Are you old enough to remember his “Distant Voices, Still Lives” from 1988? If not, you will search for it when you have seen this new masterpiece of his, made for the celebration of his native Liverpool: If Liverpool did not exist, it had to be invented.

That is what he says, in the most brilliant film text that I have heard for years. Quoting poetry, bringing in himself, in first person, remembering, calling for, bringing forward his childhood, the times that were, accompanied by visual archive material, by gorgeous shootings from today, from above, from the streets, from inside the church and with music, not the Beatles, not at all, sarchastic he is about “the yeah yeah yeah”, no he turns to – among others – Mahler, Brahms and Händel. But there are also long wordless sequences of houses, people and weather. He lets the images talk for themselves, no working class sentimentality, but an interpretation of the life we live, the search for a good life, the longings, the sorrow, life and death. Stream of consciousness. James Joyce on film. A sequence of children from today. They have just learned to walk. There must be a future.

I was breathless after the screening. I want to see it again as quick as possible! Check the site and get a taste of this masterpiece.



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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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