Main Page
Alphabetical Menu
Chronological Menu

Reviews for January 21st, 2009


Of Time and City

Directed by Terence Davies.


This lyrical, mildly fascinating documentary is an homage to the city of Liverpool in Great Britain, where the director, Terence Davies, grew up as a child. Liverpool has been labeled as the European Capital of Culture 2008 and it certainly seems to be live up to its name. Rather than using talking heads who talk about the cityís history since post-World War II in the 1950ís, Davies resorts to the use of archival footage, voice-over narration as well as the classical music of Mahler, Peggy Lee, John Tavener and Liszt. The stark, black-and-white images of working-class Liverpool speak volumes about what it must have felt like to live in Liverpool back then. Most of the filmís moving moments come from the small details shown of people doing daily chores, such as old women doing laundry or children gathered at a courtyard outside of an apartment building. With his somewhat bland, monotonous voice, Davies includes his own voice-over narration with references and quotes from such individuals as Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, James Joyce and Carl Jung among others. At a few somewhat lively moments, he interjects some of his dry, sarcastic humor, especially when he briefly mentions his disdain for the Catholic Church that failed him throughout his life. The images of Liverpool with all of its architecture lose some of their power, though, during the narration that occasionally turns dull and oversimplified. Davies should have elaborated further about his negative feelings about Catholicism rather than keeping them rather subdued. Itís clear, though, that Davies has nostalgia for the old, 1950ís Liverpool and that he feels saddened by the industrialization and other changes that took away a certain down-to-earth atmosphere. What couldnít be taken away, though, are the actual memories of Liverpool which serve as a spiritual portal into a very different time and place. While not quite as imaginative, lively or captivating as My Winnipeg, Guy Maddinís homage to his hometown of Winnipeg, Canada, Of Time and City, at a running time of only 77 minutes, nonetheless manages to be a moderately fascinating, sporadically moving and poetic documentary.
Number of times I checked my watch: 3.
Released by Strand Releasing. Opens at the Film Forum.





Main Page
Alphabetical Menu
Chronological Menu


______________________________________________________
Avi Offer
The NYC Movie Guru
themovieguru101@yahoo.com
Privacy Policy