Of Time and the City
Dir. Terence Davies. 2008, 74 mins. 35mm. Commissioned for the Liverpool City of Culture celebrations in 2008, and Davies’s first film after an eight-year hiatus, this is his first documentary, an archival-rich yet typically personal rumination on place and time. Autobiographical elements are fused with evocative, inescapably haunting images (still and moving) of Liverpool as it changed and mutated over Davies’s life. A typically eclectic soundtrack uses The Spinners, The Hollies, Peggy Lee, and John Tavener to build unexpected connections between images filmed decades apart, while Davies’s recitations from T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets” provides a poignant thread throughout. “A deeply personal piece of art that never descends into the confessional or the therapeutic, and a work of social and literary criticism that never lectures or hectors, but rather, with melancholy, tenderness and wit, manages to sing.” —A.O. Scott, The New York Times.