Of Time and the City

Synopsis: Terence Davies (1945- ), filmmaker and writer, takes us, sometimes obliquely, to his childhood and youth in Liverpool. He's born Catholic and poor; later he rejects religion. He discovers homo-eroticism, and it's tinged with Catholic guilt. Enjoying pop music gives way to a teenage love of Mahler and Wagner. Using archival footage, we take a ferry to a day on the beach. Postwar prosperity brings some positive change, but its concrete architecture is dispiriting. Contemporary colors and sights of children playing may balance out the presence of unemployment and persistent poverty. Davies' narration is a mix of his own reflections and the poems and prose of others.
Director(s): Terence Davies
Production: Strand Releasing
  2 wins & 11 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
74 min

(# Liszt:

Consolation No. 3 in D Flat Major)

(# U naccompanied piano plays

a gently flowing melody)

(T erence Davies narrates... )

Into my heart an air that kills

From yon far country blows

What are those blue remembered hills

What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content

I see it shining plain

The happy highways where I went

And cannot come again

(# Piano continues to murmur... )

I met a traveller from an antique land

who said:

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

stand in the desert

And on the pedestal

these words appear:

"My name is Ozymandias,

King of Kings:

"Look on my works, ye mighty,

and despair!"

Nothing beside remains

Round the decay of

that colossal wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands

stretch far away

"If Liverpool did not exist, it would

have to be invented." [Myrbach]

(# Handel:

Music for the Royal Fireworks)

(# Trumpet voluntary

accompanied by brisk drumming)

(# Trumpet ornamentation continues... )

(# Trumpet music concludes

with a flourish)

We love the place we hate,

then hate the place we love

We leave the place we love,

then spend a lifetime trying to regain it.

Come closer now...

...and see your dreams.

Come closer now... and see mine.

No meat on Friday.

Confession on Saturday,

emerging cleansed

and pleasing to God.

Mass on Sundays,

and Holy days of obligation.

Despite my dogged piety,

no great revelation came.

No divine balm

to ease my soul.

Just years wasted in useless prayer.

If I pray long enough,

I would be forgiven.

If I am forgiven,

I would be made whole.

All I'll need then is the girl.

Suddenly, I knew, suddenly, I thought...

...it's all a lie.

Paradise betrayed.

There was no God, only Satan,

sauntering behind me with a smirk,

saying, "I'll get you in the end".

Tu es Petrus.

You're a brick, Pete.

Here, people married.

Here, people died and were buried.

In deconsecrated Catholic Churches,

now made into restaurants

as chic as anything abroad.

Now the congregation can eat

and drink in the sight of God,

who will, no doubt,

disapprove of cocktails in Babylon.

Is this happiness?

Is this perfection?

As you are now, we once were.

[James Joyce]

(# Tavener:
The Protecting Veil)

(# Violin sustains long, lingering notes)

They that go down to the sea

in ships

and that do business in great waters,

these see the works of the Lord,

and his wonders in the deep.

[Anno Domini]

(# Tavener:
The Protecting Veil)

(# Violin sustains long, lingering notes)

"Removed from the sight

of happier classes

"poverty may struggle along as it can."

[Friedrich Engels]

(Archive radio report)

'Preston North End 2

- Blackpool 3

'Everton 2 - West Ham United 0

(Radio report fades)

On slow Saturdays,

when football, like life,

was still played in black and white,

and in shorts as long as underwear.

When it was still not venal.

When sportsmen and women

knew how to win and lose with grace

and never to punch the air in victory.

Match over, pea soup made,

my mother calling from the kitchen;

my eldest brother listening to

the football results

in front of the Bakelite radio,

marking his coupon,

hoping to win millions.

Accrington Stanley,

Sheffield Wednesday,

Hamilton Academicals,

Queen of the South.

And on ever slower Sundays,

when it felt as if the whole world was

listening to the "Light Programme",

Kenneth Horne, promptly at 2 o'clock

and long before the repeal

of the Sexual Offences Act,

would visit two of

his very special friends.

(Radio) '... I was recommended

to a firm of solicitors in Lincoln's Inn.

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Terence Davies

Terence Davies (born 10 November 1945) is an English screenwriter, film director, novelist and actor. He is best known as the writer and director of Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) and The Long Day Closes (1992) as well the collage film Of Time and the City (2008). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"Of Time and the City" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 31 May 2020. <https://www.scripts.com/script/of_time_and_the_city_15100>.

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