Up 1,378 this week

Of Time and the City (2008)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,406 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 29 user | 69 critic | 9 from

A filmmaker looks at the history and transformation of his birthplace, Liverpool, England.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 14 Jan 2012
list image
a list of 24 titles
created 20 Feb 2012
a list of 38 titles
created 01 Jun 2012
a list of 27 titles
created 2 months ago
a list of 47 titles
created 1 month ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Of Time and the City (2008)

Of Time and the City (2008) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Of Time and the City.
3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Children (1976)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Robert Tucker, a young gay man who is almost without affect, sits in various waiting rooms. As he sits, he recalls events from the year of his childhood when his father dies. He's ten or ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Phillip Mawdsley, Nick Stringer, Valerie Lilley
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The wife of a British Judge is caught in a self-destructive love affair with a Royal Air Force pilot.

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, Ann Mitchell
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Robert Tucker, a sorrowful, solitary man, given to bouts of weeping, tries to balance his life caring for his aging mother, his Catholicism, his homosexuality, and his dull job. One night, ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Terry O'Sullivan, Sheila Raynor, Paul Barber
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Story about director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's parents who were both doctors, and director's memories about growing up in the hospital environment.

Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Stars: Nantarat Sawaddikul, Jaruchai Iamaram, Sophon Pukanok
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The second film in Terence Davies's autobiographical series ('Trilogy', 'The Long Day Closes') is an impressionistic view of a working-class family in 1940s and 1950s Liverpool, based on ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Pete Postlethwaite, Freda Dowie, Angela Walsh
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Fort Worth, Texas: a little known museum Mecca in the heart of the American West, home to three of the most important collections in the United States. Here in 1997, the Modern Art Museum ... See full summary »

Director: Harry Lynch
Stars: Kevin Alter, Tadao Ando, Peter Arendt
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The Long Day Closes is the story of eleven-year-old "Bud." A sad and lonely boy, Bud struggles through his days. With cinema as his main source of solace, he haunts the local movie-house. ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Leigh McCormack, Marjorie Yates, Anthony Watson
Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A nerdy redhead from Cockfosters discovers that he is part of an ancient magical sect. Under the eye of Pentangle, he heads to Australia to be taught the way of the witter by eccentric Bavarian filmmaker Werner Herzog.

Director: Jeremy Dylan
Stars: Stephen Fry, Andrew Griscti, Catherine Davies

The daughter of a Scottish farmer comes of age in the early 1900s.

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Kevin McKidd, Peter Mullan, Agyness Deyn
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

This highly influential film in architecture and planning circles by William H. Whyte analyzes the success and failures of urban spaces. Observing the natural order of spaces and the way ... See full summary »

Director: William H. Whyte
Stars: William H. Whyte

Two brothers must contend with their father's death and the influence of their strong, complex mother.

Director: Terence Davies
Biography | Drama

The story of American poet Emily Dickinson from her early days as a young schoolgirl to her later years as a reclusive, unrecognized artist.

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Cynthia Nixon


Uncredited cast:
Himself / Narrator (voice) (uncredited)


Terence Davies (1945- ), filmmaker and writer, takes us, sometimes obliquely, to his childhood and youth in Liverpool. He's born Catholic and poor; later he rejects religion. He discovers homo-eroticism, and it's tinged with Catholic guilt. Enjoying pop music gives way to a teenage love of Mahler and Wagner. Using archival footage, we take a ferry to a day on the beach. Postwar prosperity brings some positive change, but its concrete architecture is dispiriting. Contemporary colors and sights of children playing may balance out the presence of unemployment and persistent poverty. Davies' narration is a mix of his own reflections and the poems and prose of others. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mahler | beach | ferry | youth | religion | See All (59) »


See all certifications »




Release Date:

31 October 2008 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Az idő és a város  »

Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,595 (USA) (23 January 2009)


$32,551 (USA) (8 May 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs




See  »

Did You Know?


Priveghiati si va Rugat
Arranged by Chris Hazell
Published by MCPS.
Performed by Angela Gheorghiu & London Philharmonic Orchestra (as The London Philharmonic Orchestra)
Conducted By Ion Marin
Licensed courtesy of Decca Music Group.
Under license from Universal Music Operations.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A masterpiece
18 July 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Terence Davies's films always have wonderful openings. And his new film, "Of Time and the City", is no exception. The screen is dark, but we hear Liszt, and before we know it a cinema screen is rising before our eyes. As its orange curtains open, the colour fades, and we enter a black-and-white world of memory. We see Liverpool in the 19th century in all its imperial grandeur, as "Music for the Royal Fireworks" plays on the soundtrack. But that memory only drags us back to the present, to the contemporary remains of this grandeur, the majestic St. George's Hall, around which Davies's always fluid camera executes a series of breathtaking tracking shots. It is a truly magical opening, a reminder that, when it comes to creating transcendent cinema, Terence Davies is without peer.

The rest of the film could be seen as a kind of critique of these grandiose fantasies, because the film is not about the glory and wealth of Liverpool's architecture, but about its people. One of those people is Davies himself. But he is only one player in a cast of thousands: housewives, children, factory workers, happy holidaymakers, partying teenagers, and even the monarchy (the subject of a wonderfully vitriolic, and utterly deserved, attack at one point in the film). This is a film with real respect for the people of Liverpool, past and present – not only the workers of the 1950s, but also the young people of today. That is one reason why the film is so memorable, and so moving.

Throughout all of Davies's films we have the sense of a director doing something new with cinema: capturing the logic of memory; dramatising and allowing us to experience long-forgotten emotions; and creating a new cinematic style, at once formally rigorous and deeply humane. And like almost all of his films, "Of Time and the City" is both personal and universal. But even though it is composed mainly of archive footage of Liverpool, it would be a mistake to think of it as a documentary about the city, not least because doing so runs the risk of leading know-nothings to complain about the fact that it says nothing about the Toxteth Riots, or Liverpool football club, and so on. The film is personal, and therefore partial. But it is never solipsistic. It resonated with me deeply, even though I was not alive in the 1950s (and have never even been to Liverpool).

It is a film of many memorable moments: the destruction of terraces and the building of high rises, to the sound of "The Folks Who Live on the Hill"; footage of the forgotten generation of men who fought in the Korean War (including Davies's own brother); the extraordinary tracking shot across what seems like the whole sweep of Liverpool, from the shops to the docks. And on one level it is a simple, even straightforward film. But on another level it is very complex, full of fascinating and unexpected transitions and juxtapositions, and demands multiple viewings.

Quite simply, "Of Time and the City" is a masterpiece, which demonstrates – as if it needs demonstrating! – that Terence Davies is one of the greatest film-makers alive today. As you can tell, I loved it!

24 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Three Cheers for the Daily Telegraph! james_gb
YAWN... BrianEJanssen
Question about one of the early scenes makeupconny13
What's that gorgeous piano music? vmora_64
7.3......hahahahahaha hahahaha bladerunnerbluesuk
Australian Release TomCave
Discuss Of Time and the City (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: