Cannes 2008: Review - Of Time and the City

The RT verdict on Terence Davies' autobiographical Liverpool story.

by | May 20, 2008 | Comments

House of Mirth director Terence Davies’ rich, British voice narrates Of Time and the City, his “visual poem” about his life in Liverpool, with gusto, dripping with sarcasm, humour and lyricism.

Essentially a montage of archive footage of 20th Century Liverpool, Of Time and the City is a small scale portrait of the city, picking and choosing only the least generic tourist footage to chart the passage of time. There are Liverpudlian landmarks every now and then, but they feel very much secondary to the lives being lived beneath them.

Liverpool

Through struggles and experiences with sexuality, religion and music, Davies remains autobiographical, celebrating and occasionally criticising the city of Liverpool only in its reflection on his life, whether he’s visiting the wrestling or at a coronation street party.

This is as much the film’s greatest challenge as it is a success, for moments of the film leave you longing for elaboration that never comes. Davies found appreciation for classical music while the Beatles rose to prominence, he explains, so the Fab Four’s impact on the city is understated within Davies’ film.

But in moments of humour and almost nostalgic slices of everyday life, Of Time and the City shines. As Davies’ narration wraps around his words there are moments so inherently British that you can’t help but fall in love.

While shying away from the darker side of Liverpool’s recent past, Of Time and the City is, ultimately, a hopeful film. One man’s personal time capsule of this year’s European Capital of Culture is both a remembrance for those who were there and a window into the time for those who weren’t.

Tag Cloud

social media FX Sundance Calendar Super Bowl Netflix GLAAD AMC MSNBC LGBTQ Ghostbusters TNT Reality PBS PaleyFest VH1 Hulu Horror Lionsgate Trailer Toys boxoffice Certified Fresh DirecTV Character Guide Universal Biopics CBS All Access Crackle technology APB Grammys adventure 2015 Action Oscars Syfy El Rey Spring TV Winners HBO VICE Pop TruTV ESPN Fantasy Premiere Dates Country Nat Geo Writers Guild of America serial killer Star Trek A&E Reality Competition GIFs GoT Animation Logo The CW Cartoon Network WGN thriller Box Office ITV cops Year in Review Tumblr ABC First Look Freeform E! SundanceTV CNN police drama Opinion Rock Comic Book Fox News FXX Countdown Amazon war RT History period drama Musicals 2017 Valentine's Day cinemax Comedy Central TCA 2017 Esquire Thanksgiving harry potter Rom-Com MTV CBS Emmys Schedule Sneak Peek Watching Series Holidays Cosplay Disney Channel Podcast Winter TV discovery Pirates Photos Disney singing competition docudrama based on movie NYCC BBC America Mystery Food Network Comedy 24 frames Infographic Extras Best and Worst Tomatazos History Interview crime drama Fall TV Set visit Star Wars TCM TIFF 2016 Awards Masterpiece cooking Adult Swim travel Starz politics X-Men diversity BBC TV Land Rocky OWN Superheroes biography Sci-Fi Nickelodeon 007 Summer DC Comics aliens Video Games IFC Kids & Family science fiction Marvel sports Exclusive Video NBC Polls and Games American Society of Cinematographers Lifetime BET Nominations Trivia dramedy vampires FOX USA President crime thriller Mary Tyler Moore Drama comiccon TCA Teen Bravo sitcom Music Red Carpet Election CMT TV TBS SDCC ABC Family Martial Arts Showtime Marathons