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Of Time and The City


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Editorial Reviews

From the original voice of British auteur Terence Davies comes a visual poem about the director's life in Liverpool from 1945 to 1973. It is a very personal portrait of Liverpool, beyond its Beatles and its football clubs, the home of the writer's birth, where youth and inspiration weave his own story into the recent history of the city with fascinating found footage and a lyrical soundtrack. The visual poem is played out against a backdrop of densely packed urban living and backbreaking domestic labor. But Davies counterpoints the slums with beautiful, soaring music and lifts us into the world of fantasy and collective emotion which makes the misery of life bearable. For lovers of Davies' previous work many of his themes from his earlier narrative pieces thread through this film--Catholicism, homosexuality, violence, death, loss, the glory of cinema, outsiderness and childhood. Narrated by Davies.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Terence Davies
  • Directors: Terence Davies
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: May 12, 2009
  • Run Time: 74 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001TH2DO4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,213 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Of Time and The City" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mary M on October 2, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
First I rented, then I bought. There is nothing like this film anywhere. Just sit back, watch and listen to a world, not at all beautiful, but achingly poignant.

I only wish I had seen the film before my brief time there while on a tour of Britain; the visit would have been much more meaningful.

Unique, precious film footage set to heavenly music. And the comments only add to the sincerity of the effort.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rex on November 15, 2011
Format: DVD
Of Time and the City isn't only about Liverpool. It could just as well be speaking of Detroit today or any other city decimated by "progress" and the pursuit of the next new thing. The people progress from childhood to old age as observers of growth and decay while all the time it is happening to them too. The film is a brilliant allegory about life in the modern world. The narration seems to begin with admiration, journey through disappointment, only to arrive at hope for the next generation. The constant quotes read as captions to the photography are worth the price alone. The narrator's personal comments may rile some but are only part of a portrait of life in the big city. It ain't all hearts and flowers.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By books on July 4, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A beautifully made film,fanatstic use of black and white footage and a poetic commentary. Pure film making by a devotee of film.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Courtois on December 25, 2011
Format: DVD
I am biased because I love the films of Terence Davies, even as I realize they are not for everyone. That is the point, really: his work is a direct reflection of his sensibility, and you either see that and identify with it or you don't. The reviewers who complain that this is not an objective, by-the-book documentary are missing the point entirely. As Davies explains in one of the interviews, this is a personal work that developed in its own time and fashion. It does not rely on chronology or any standard organizing principle. For that reason Davies and the rest of the filmmaking team refer to the film as more of a poem, and so it is.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By N. NATALE on May 2, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
To say that we liked or enjoyed watching this movie is a little too strong. We were enthralled by it but found it depressingly true. Watching gives you a sense of what has happened in civilizations as time passes. People, buildings and cultures are formed and then disappear - sometimes making improvements and sometimes just causing loss of unique identify.

This movie depicts the city of Liverpool and its residents but represents all cities and cultures that have disappeared as times change. The permanent "play streets" that once existed in Liverpool are now given over to traffic. The forboding row houses are now giant apartment buildings. For better or worse? There is a profound sense of world-sorrow in the poetic narration and the old black and white pictures that is beyond nostalgia. It's educational but sorrowful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Medeni Lazarus on May 2, 2013
Format: DVD
Poetic, painful at times, and perfectly put together. This documentary will leave you thinking, for days. I think I would spoil and, would not do the justice to this film, if I tried to put my impressions and feelings about it into words. Must see to appreciate. Visual Masterpiece, excellent narration - great work Mr. Davies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By W. Rodick on September 22, 2011
Format: DVD
This is England bare.
Utterly compelling. Seeing and hearing and listening to the parent past. For the first time. The architecture of decay and children play. Surpassed. I glanced at my parent's picture on the wall. Open-air swimming pools crowded. Glad.

And onward change tries to hide. And fails. The people who won their war. Betrayed. The 'fossil monarchy' should be gone, gone, gone. Not like ballroom dancing but The Bomb.

Creative souls like us should thrive through time unclocked. Defined. And people talking is one person's only hope. Together. I love this time of plenty. Out of mind.

Terence portrays in poetry as I review in kind. An unsentimental journey where I thought I would cry. I did not. See this documentary for who you are now. And for the mobile phone taking the place of crowds.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jacquie Huan Ye, Ph.D. on May 15, 2011
Format: DVD
Although I've never been to Liverpool, England and have no personal memory of most of the specifics, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Beautiful images with wonderful music and stunning poems... What a piece of art! It makes me feel somehow as fellow human beings we share the same images, memories and feelings across space, in the long flowing river of time...
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