7.3/10
1,677
30 user 73 critic

Of Time and the City (2008)

Trailer
2:17 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $4.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

Director:

Terence Davies

Writer:

Terence Davies
2 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

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 ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Jacob Tierney, Drake Bell, Gena Rowlands
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A woman risks losing her chance of happiness with the only man she has ever loved.

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Gillian Anderson, Dan Aykroyd, Eleanor Bron
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 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
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

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.

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Pete Postlethwaite, Freda Dowie, Angela Walsh
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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 »

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Phillip Mawdsley, Nick Stringer, Valerie Lilley
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In sepia tones, the film moves back and forth among three periods in Robert Tucker's life: he's an old man, near death, in a nursing home at Christmas time; he's in middle age caring for ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Wilfrid Brambell, Terry O'Sullivan, Iain Munro
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

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: Emma Bell, Sara Vertongen, Rose Williams
Sunset Song (2015)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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

Director: Terence Davies
Stars: Ken Blackburn, Mark Bonnar, Stuart Bowman
Children (1976)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 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
Biography

The story of English poet, writer and soldier Siegfried Sassoon.

Director: Terence Davies
Edit

Cast

Uncredited cast:
Terence Davies ... Himself - Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Edit

Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mahler | beach | ferry | religion | poem | See All (57) »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 2008 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Del tiempo y la ciudad See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£57,195 (United Kingdom), 2 November 2008, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,595, 25 January 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$32,551, 10 May 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Dolly Suite, Op. 56-I. Berceuse
Written by Gabriel Fauré
Performed by Helen Krizos and Matthew Kam
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A masterpiece
18 July 2008 | by AnscombeSee 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!


29 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 30 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed