Kimberley Foy can’t decide whether to laugh or cry as a true cinematic wonder takes hold in Of Time and the City.
Of Time and the City is so many indescribable things. In basic terms, it is the love poem of director, Terence Davies to his native Liverpool, beginning in 1945 and extending to the present day.
Forget plot, characters and fictitious lives. Davies’ ode to the place and period with which he feels inextricably entwined is like nothing you have ever seen.
It is initially difficult to grasp what our narrator is trying to say, as image after startling, compelling image appears, followed by Davies quoting famous writers here and there. This is supplemented by small tantalising passages from the director’s own life.
“Davies invites us into his life, his passions and memories”
Gradually though, you begin to understand the message, as you feel the nostalgia creep in and grow and the emotion heighten to an unbearable extent. Davies shows us the Liverpool he loved and came to know intimately, the people who shaped it, the hard labour that was suffered by generations past and ultimately the longing Davies feels for the city that was, now forever changed by the passage of time and progress.
Davies invites us into his life, his passions and memories. Some are heart-wrenching, while others inspire his feelings of nostalgia in the audience. Of Time and the City is a visual experience in itself, however our narrator/director is not shy of employing awe-inspiring music.
This last element transforms it from powerful to seminal, in all respects. The production has been hailed as Davies’ masterpiece, however, some may find it too intense and hard hitting. Overall though, Of Time And The City is a jewel.