Of Time and the City

2008

Action / Biography / Documentary

2
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 1908

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
October 30, 2020 at 09:03 PM

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720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
713.99 MB
1280*714
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 17 min
P/S 0 / 7
1.29 GB
1920*1072
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 17 min
P/S 1 / 15

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by mouton1890 9 / 10

Splendid

I saw this, a few days ago, at the Sydney Film Festival - it's very good indeed. What a pleasure to find a documentary director who believes in movement! No "talking heads" doco this. The whole picture positively seethes, and the beauty and ugliness of Liverpool are contrasted in a way that keeps the viewer in a state of constant expectation.

It's equally good to find a director who has strong views and is not worried about expressing them. The commentary on such things as the Pope and the British royal family are quite blunt but are saved from any suggestion of offensiveness by the humour that accompanies them.

The use of music is generally very fine; eg Handel's "Royal fireworks music" for a loving examination of St George's Hall and Peggy Lee's "Folks who live on the hill" for a view of the grim isolation of high-rise living. I must add, however, that the use of Mahler's 2nd symphony for the section on urban renewal is a bit obvious.

Older viewers will be taken by the fact that some of the best jokes are in Latin but young-uns need not be put-off by this. If ever there was a documentary on a specific topic (in this case Liverpool and Mersyside) that was also universal in the impression it makes, this is it.

Reviewed by lastliberal 8 / 10

...the years wasted in useless prayer.

There was a time when the world was black and while. I lived in that time, and so did Terence Davies. His time in the 50s and 60s was spent in Liverpool, and in this film, this poem with images, and songs, and poetry, and and words of remembrance, he takes us to that time that only those who lived it would fully appreciate.

We didn't really know we were poor. We made the best of it and found happiness where we could - at the beach, by winning a race at the fair, or in the movies.

The crack began in the mid to late 60s, and we started to question why some had and others didn't, why a church held such power over our lives, why love could not be shared by all, black and white, straight and gay.

I thank Terence Davies for this trip back. it was a beautiful thing.

Reviewed by Anscombe 10 / 10

A masterpiece

Terence Davies's films always have wonderful openings. And his new film, "Of Time and the City", is no exception. The screen is dark, but we hear Liszt, and before we know it a cinema screen is rising before our eyes. As its orange curtains open, the colour fades, and we enter a black-and-white world of memory. We see Liverpool in the 19th century in all its imperial grandeur, as "Music for the Royal Fireworks" plays on the soundtrack. But that memory only drags us back to the present, to the contemporary remains of this grandeur, the majestic St. George's Hall, around which Davies's always fluid camera executes a series of breathtaking tracking shots. It is a truly magical opening, a reminder that, when it comes to creating transcendent cinema, Terence Davies is without peer.

The rest of the film could be seen as a kind of critique of these grandiose fantasies, because the film is not about the glory and wealth of Liverpool's architecture, but about its people. One of those people is Davies himself. But he is only one player in a cast of thousands: housewives, children, factory workers, happy holidaymakers, partying teenagers, and even the monarchy (the subject of a wonderfully vitriolic, and utterly deserved, attack at one point in the film). This is a film with real respect for the people of Liverpool, past and present – not only the workers of the 1950s, but also the young people of today. That is one reason why the film is so memorable, and so moving.

Throughout all of Davies's films we have the sense of a director doing something new with cinema: capturing the logic of memory; dramatising and allowing us to experience long-forgotten emotions; and creating a new cinematic style, at once formally rigorous and deeply humane. And like almost all of his films, "Of Time and the City" is both personal and universal. But even though it is composed mainly of archive footage of Liverpool, it would be a mistake to think of it as a documentary about the city, not least because doing so runs the risk of leading know-nothings to complain about the fact that it says nothing about the Toxteth Riots, or Liverpool football club, and so on. The film is personal, and therefore partial. But it is never solipsistic. It resonated with me deeply, even though I was not alive in the 1950s (and have never even been to Liverpool).

It is a film of many memorable moments: the destruction of terraces and the building of high rises, to the sound of "The Folks Who Live on the Hill"; footage of the forgotten generation of men who fought in the Korean War (including Davies's own brother); the extraordinary tracking shot across what seems like the whole sweep of Liverpool, from the shops to the docks. And on one level it is a simple, even straightforward film. But on another level it is very complex, full of fascinating and unexpected transitions and juxtapositions, and demands multiple viewings.

Quite simply, "Of Time and the City" is a masterpiece, which demonstrates – as if it needs demonstrating! – that Terence Davies is one of the greatest film-makers alive today. As you can tell, I loved it!

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