1hr 25mins

Terence Davies’ second film returns to 1950s Liverpool to tell the story of Bud, a quiet schoolboy struggling with his emerging sexuality and repressive Catholic upbringing who finds an escape through Hollywood musicals and his own imagination…

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Terence Davies Retrospective
Terence Davies

Terence Davies’ follow up to Distant Voices, Still Lives is another masterful evocation of childhood memory, trauma, love, and identity.

Like Davies’ first film, the setting is 1950s Liverpool, which provides the backdrop to the story of Bud, a young boy struggling with an oppressive home and school life and his emerging sexuality, who finds solace, escape and meaning in his trips to the cinema, and particularly the rapture of Hollywood musicals.

Perhaps the most purely cinematic of his early films, The Long Day Closes sees Davies elevate the visual poetry and elliptical rhythms of Distant Voices, Still Lives, using the colour and fantasy of the movies to illustrate Bud’s daydreams and flights of fancy as he looks to escape the reality of his existence, with everyday singing and songs from musicals and elsewhere providing vehicles for moments of transcendent revelation in his life.

The result is a unique, haunting, and deeply moving portrait of youth and the artist as a young man, in what is perhaps the greatest British film of the 1990s.

This film is screening at Tyneside Cinema as a part of our season Living as Poetry: A Tribute to Terence Davies which you can learn more about here!

Book your tickets

Thu 9 Jun
Sun 12 Jun

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