The Terence Davies Trilogy
Dir. Terence Davies. 1983, 101 mins. 35mm. With Robin Hooper, Valerie Lilley, Terry O’Sullivan, Sheila Raynor, Wilfrid Brambell. Comprised of three films (Children, Madonna and Child, and Death and Transfiguration) made over seven years (in drama school, film school, and after graduation), this trilogy marks Davies’s emergence as one of the great British directors of his generation. The films chart the life and death of Robert Tucker, brought up, like Davies, in a Catholic working-class home in Liverpool. Robert is bullied at school and has a violent father who dies while the boy is still young. He is left to live alone with his mother. As an adult, he struggles with his homosexuality, and his feelings of guilt and shame are sharpened by his Catholicism. Davies already shows precision in his handling of sounds and images and in bringing an extraordinary intensity of emotion to the screen.
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