A Scene from The Long Day Closes

Thanks to Terence Davies’s distinctive filmmaking style, The Long Day Closes doesn’t quite feel like any other motion picture. This intensely moving, ethereal reverie on a brief happy period of the director’s often sad childhood in Liverpool during the fifties moves in and out of different moods and sensations, rather than laying out a straightforward narrative. His films may come across as stream-of-consciousness, but Davies actually meticulously sets up every shot and music cue in the first draft of his scripts. Often, his plans are ambitious, as is clear from the following magnificently realized scene. Set to Debbie Reynolds’s 1957 hit song ”Tammy,” it is a virtuosic cinematic symphony, composed of incredible high-angle shots of a movie theater, church, and schoolroom, graphically matched to express the importance of those three locations in Davies’s youth.

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