The Long Day Closes (Terence Davies, 1992) Leigh McCormack, Marjorie Yates, Anthony Watson
Pic builds on the basic elements of Davies’ 1988 Cannes Critics’ Award-winner , Distant Voices, Still Lives, but takes its emotional cue from that work’s gut-churning set piece: the rising crane shot outside a rain-drenched movie theater to the lush strains of Love Is a Many Splendored Thing. After a still-life main title to a Boccherini minuet, Long Day lets rip with the 20th Century Fox fanfare (plus CinemaScope extension) and segues into a free-form ride down the helmer’s memory lane of family, friends, Catholicism and cinema. ... Pic’s major weakness is its stop-go tempo. Individual segs are stunningly mounted (an overhead, four-part lateral track to the strains of “Tammy”; Bud dreaming of a mighty galleon) but show a longer dramatic line, a reluctance to go with the flow. Davies is still a miniaturist working in a feature-length format. Variety.
... for Bud, beautifully played by McCormack, the movies take on a spiritual aura. Shot through the shimmer of memory by cinematographer Michael Coulter, the theater looms like an ornate temple. A shaft of light from the projector catches the anticipation on Bud’s face as the screen removes the drab from his existence. ... Only a few directors have merged illusion and reality with such delicacy. Woody Allen did it with The Purple Rose of Cairo in 1985. Rolling Stone.
When Terence Davies speaks on the extras on these DVDs, he's so softly spoken it takes a while to notice when he's discussing something traumatic or life-changing - and in that respect, his cinematic voice is the same. Memories play a big part of Davies' work too - he doesn't just try to recreate scenes from his childhood but feelings and moods, which means his films aren't a succession of sequences, rather a flood of images and moments, some important, some of little consequence. As a result, they can seem unstructured and insubstantial, but the opposite is true. Guardian.
Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 18 October, 2023 | Now: 19 October, 2023