While on a train, a teenage boy thinks about his life and the flamboyant aunt whose friendship acted as an emotional shield from his troubled family. This film evokes the haunting quality ...
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The lives of an English working-class family are told out of order in a free-associative manner. The first part, "Distant Voices", focuses on the father's role in the family. The second part, "Still Lives", focuses on his children.
Davies' film is divided into three segments entitled "Children", "Madonna and Child", and "Death and Transfiguartion". The segments tell the life of Robert Tucker. The first segment looks ... See full summary »
While on a train, a teenage boy thinks about his life and the flamboyant aunt whose friendship acted as an emotional shield from his troubled family. This film evokes the haunting quality of memory while creating a heartfelt portrait of a boy's life in a rural 1940s Southern town.Written by
Ivana Redwine <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In an interview with "Time Out Film", Terence Davies said about this film, "[It] doesn't work, and that's entirely my fault. The only thing I can say is that it's a transition work. And I couldn't have done The House of Mirth (2000) without it." See more »
David, aged 15:
If you were different from anybody else in town, you had to get out. They used to say in school, "you have to think for yourself," but you couldn't do that in town. You have to think what your father thought and that was what everybody thought.
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A Beautiful, Astounding Masterpiece from Terence Davies
As Davies has said many times, one of the single most important things to remember about his work is that his biggest influence is the Hollywood musicals of the 30s, 40s and 50s. This influence comes across in all of his films and especially with The Neon Bible.
Davies is also, in my opinion, one of the few directors who accurately depicts the act of remembering. Without giving anything away, it's always important to keep in mind that David is on a train, thinking and remembering. No one remembers something from the past totally, memory functions like fragments and it's up to us to flesh them out. Sometimes we think of something one way, later another away; forget, remember or distort. David is fleshing out the events of his life and that's th most important thing about the film. Sometimes we remember minute, isolated events... Davies puts those in the film as well. Just sit back and enjoy the pace of this remarkable film from an equally remarkable and brilliant director.
A sheet blowing - music from Gone With the Wind - he turns into high drama; Stephen Foster's 'Hard Times' as David begins to hit bottom. It IS a musical - Davies has always used music for forward his narrative and uses it in this film in a more sophisticated way than in his earlier films to even more startling effect.
Everyone turns in remarkable performances - the entire cast and the photography is beyond amazing. Davies is the master of the tracking shot.
Please, be patient with the pace of the film - sit back and enjoy the ride. Get used to the rhythms and then give all of yourself to the film, jump in. It's beautiful, melancholy and sad. Davies' films are always so full of life and this is no exception. No idea why this film gets a bad rap - hands down, one of the greatest films of the 1990s. It's totally unique - it comes from nowhere. Shots, colors, textures - all perfect. Everything. Enjoy the ride.
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