Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

Of Time and the City

To celebrate the 800th anniversary of the founding of their city, the good burghers of Liverpool commissioned a documentary by Terence Davies, whose best films — the 1987 Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes in 1992 — are fictionalized memoirs of growing up on the Merseyside. The result was a kind of Liverpool, mon amour, a documemoir that used newsreels and home movies to create what Davies called a "valediction and an epitaph." Even those who knew the city only as the home of the Beatles and a prominent football team should have been amused and touched by this brief (71 minute) mélange of ancient history and autobiography that is immensely funny and pained and deeply felt.