• 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.

10 comments

  • By Kyle Edward Harris
    January 29, 2014
    03:26 PM

    Whoa. I've never been more sold on anything in my life.
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  • By Manuel P.
    January 29, 2014
    03:59 PM

    Impressive, to say the least.
    Reply
  • By Jonathan Rosenbaum
    January 29, 2014
    05:36 PM

    One of the many peaks in Davies' ecstatic filmmaking.
    Reply
  • By thevoid99
    January 29, 2014
    08:24 PM

    That is cinema at its purest form.
    Reply
  • By John Cole
    January 29, 2014
    08:26 PM

    Tammy was one film, along with Lawrence of Arabia, that captured my imagination as a young boy still under ten years old. Davies scene recalls the film's credit sequence, which featured a helicopter shot of a river while Debbie Reynolds sang. I was especially taken with that helicopter shot, seeing it as something marvelous.
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    • By John Cole
      January 29, 2014
      09:43 PM

      Slight correction: The song in the title sequence is sung by the Ames Brothers, but the helicopter shot is just as I remember. See Tammy and the Bachelor.
  • By Sidney
    January 29, 2014
    09:49 PM

    Absolutely wonderful! Just calling it virtuoso is an extreme understatement.
    Reply
  • By Kenneth Jordan
    February 01, 2014
    12:25 PM

    Amazing and moving.
    Reply
  • By obscuredbyclouds
    May 30, 2014
    06:44 PM

    This scene alone makes me want to pick this up immediately. I have to wait until July, but I don't know if I can...
    Reply
  • By Barry Moore
    August 21, 2014
    09:49 AM

    There are actually four locations being compared and contrasted in this sequence, with the first and last being the railed flight of steps where we first see the boy musing. The shot of the smoke-filled movie auditorium reminded me of my own youth, when smoking was still allowed in cinemas, albeit in designated areas.
    Reply

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