Of Time and the City | Chicago Reader

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72 minutes · 2013

Terence Davies, England's greatest living filmmaker, has released only six features, and this one is his first documentary, a mesmerizing and eloquent essay about his native Liverpool. As autobiographical and intensely personal as Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) and The Long Day Closes (1992), it encompasses his working-class background, his loss of faith in Catholicism (and, more generally, religion), and his evolution as a homosexual, as well as his taste in music and cinema. The film is made up chiefly of found footage and therefore lacks the mise en scene of its predecessors, but it has the added benefit of Davies's voice-over narration, which, thanks to his training and experience as an actor, is enormously powerful. (Check out the witty way he conveys his disdain for the Beatles through his delivery of one of their best-known refrains.)

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