Long Day Closes, The B+
Terence Davies’ work continues to be profoundly moving and exhilarating—sort of elated bleakness.
At the end of “Distant Voices, Still Lives,” the father of the family, representing Davies’ own, died. The sequel, “The Long Day Closes,” picks up the family again during its next four years, until the boy Bud (Davies’ screen surrogate) leaves primary school.
In the previous film, his alcoholic and brutal father, his epression of a puritan and strict catholic education, the horrors of Liverpool poverty were all represented in their repulsive reality, and yet were tempered by the director’s humanity, understanding and triumph as a sensitive man and as a spiritual artist.
Davies has condensed this time into one year, 1955-6, an era, he claims, that was the most joyous time of his life: “I was sick with happiness.”
Bud is bathed in love. Still in many ways isolated, he is too young to be included in everything his older brothers and sisters did
What sustain him and the others are the popular and sacred songs and the movies. The songs make up the sound track, both contrasting with and underscoring the emotional contents of the images.
Since the dreaded father is dead, the obvious dramatic tension is gone, but there’s tension of a more subtle sort: the drama of emotional development and the growth of self-understanding. Thus, the first glimmerings of his homosexuality are beginning to emerge in what would become a long process of sexual evolution.
There is a nostalgic feeling about the film, but it is never easy or sentimental nostalgia. Davies is too hard-headed a man, and too refined as artist, to resort to cheap melodramatics.
Leave a Reply
- Fast & Furious 6: Vehicular Warfare:
- Fast & Furious 6: The Newcomers
- Fast & Furious 6: Thrilling Joyride
- Angelina Jolie Double Mastectomy–Talk of Cannes Film Fest
- Bling Ring, The
- Before Midnight: Hawke and Delpie at Mid-Age
- Stories We Tell
- Great Gatsby: Luhrmann’s Jazzy Spectacle
- Star Trek into Darkness: Solid Sequel
- Love Is All You Need: From Denmark Via Italy
- Kiss of the Damned: Oversexed Vampires