Terence Davies

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shirobamba
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Terence Davies

#1 Post by shirobamba » Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:38 pm

Distant Voices, Still Lives

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Terence Davies's stunning debut feature film Distant Voices, Still Lives was instantly recognised as a masterpiece on its release in 1988 and the director hailed as one of Britain's most gifted and remarkable filmmakers. Re-released in April 2007 as part of a complete retrospective season of Terence Davies's films at BFI Southbank, it was once again showered with critical acclaim.

The BFI now makes the film available on DVD for the first time, presented in a beautiful new digital restoration - a fitting showcase for this unforgettable film from one of contemporary cinema's true poets.

Drawn from his own family memories, Distant Voices, Still Lives is a strikingly intimate portrait of working class life in 1940s and 1950s Liverpool. Focusing on the real-life experiences of his mother, sisters and brother whose lives are thwarted by their brutal, sadistic father (a chilling performance by Pete Postlethwaite), the film shows us beauty and terror in equal measure. Davies uses the traditional family gatherings of births, marriages and deaths to paint a lyrical portrait of family life - of love, grief, and the highs and lows of being human, a 'poetry of the everyday' that is at once deeply autobiographical and universally resonant.

Extras:

- Feature commentary by director Terence Davies
- Filmed interview with Terence Davies
- Filmed introduction with Art Director Miki van Zwanenberg
- Original trailer

The DVD also contains a fully illustrated 24-page booklet including essays by Beryl Bainbridge and Adrian Danks, an original review from the Monthly Film Bulletin and more.


The Long Day Closes

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Released on DVD for the first time, Terence Davies' follow-up to Distant Voices, Still Lives extends his autobiographical memoirs into the '50s

Following his prize-winning debut feature film Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988), in 1992 Terence Davies made The Long Day Closes, now released by the BFI on DVD for the first time, alongside The Terence Davies Trilogy.

Terence Davies' lyrical hymn to childhood revisits the same territory as Distant Voices, Still Lives, this time focusing on his own memories of growing up in a working-class Catholic family in Liverpool.

Eleven-year-old Bud (a heartbreaking performance from Leigh McCormack) finds escape from the greyness of '50s Britain through trips to the cinema and in the warmth of family life. But as he gets older, the agonies of the adult world; the casual cruelty of bullying, the tyranny of school and the dread of religion, begin to invade his life.

Time and memory blend and blur through Davies' fluid camerawork; slow tracking shots, pans and dreamlike dissolves combine to create the world of Bud's imagination and the lost paradise of his childhood.

Extras:

- Full feature commentary with Terence Davies and Director of Photography Mick Coulter (Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually)
- On-set interview with production designer Christopher Hobbs (Velvet Goldmine, Orlando)
- Previously unseen behind-the-scenes footage of Terence Davies directing
- 18-page illustrated booklet with essays, director biography and credits


Terence Davies Trilogy, The: Children, Madonna and Child, Death and Transfiguration

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Restored by the BFI National Archive and released on DVD for the first time; with commentary by Terence Davies

While at Coventry Drama School in the early 1970s, Terence Davies wrote the script for Children which he directed in 1976. He subsequently took up a place at The National Film School and with the support of the BFI Production Board, made his graduation film Madonna and Child (1980). Three years later, also part-funded by the BFI, he completed the Trilogy with Death and Transfiguration.

Restored by the BFI National Archive who worked closely with Terence himself, the films are preserved by the BFI and are now released on DVD for the first time alongside The Long Day Closes (1992).

Before Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) and The Long Day Closes confirmed Terence Davies' status as one of the cinematic masters of our day; these three early shorts reveal a filmmaker of great promise.

In stark black and white, Davies excavates the life of his fictional alter ego, Robert Tucker, in a narrative that slips between childhood, middle age and death, shaping the raw materials of his own life into a rich tapestry of experiences and impressions.

Over the course of these three films, we witness the emergence of Davies' singular talent and style, the refinement of his technique, and a director growing in confidence, soon to become fted as British cinema's greatest film poet.

Extras:

- Full feature commentary by Terence Davies
- Filmed interview with Terence Davies by Geoff Andrew
- 10-page illustrated booklet including essays by Derek Jarman and Distant Voices, Still Lives producer Jennifer Howarth on Terence Davies at Film School

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denti alligator
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Distant Voices, Still Lives

#2 Post by denti alligator » Fri Dec 09, 2005 5:21 pm

shirobamba wrote:One of my all time favourite films from Britain, Terence Davies' "Distant Voices, Still Lives" will get its own BFI booklength study. Scheduled for May 2006. The author is Paul Farley.
How about a fucking DVD of the film! (sorry, in a foul mood today :evil: )

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godardslave
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Distant Voices, Still Lives

#3 Post by godardslave » Fri Dec 09, 2005 5:27 pm

denti alligator wrote:How about a fucking DVD of the film! (sorry, in a foul mood today )
even if you weren't in a foul mood, this is still a completely valid point, this film should be on a fucking DVD. :)

More generally, it still amazes me the number of classic films that are not available on dvd. It does make me wonder why companies devote time and resources to relatively obscure dvds and books when many classics still are not available.

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shirobamba
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Distant Voices, Still Lives

#4 Post by shirobamba » Fri Dec 09, 2005 5:29 pm

denti alligator wrote:[How about a fucking DVD of the film! (sorry, in a foul mood today)
Nothing but random speculation, but I think, it isn't too far away, coming from BFI. The book doesn't make much sense w/out the DVD.

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denti alligator
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Distant Voices, Still Lives

#5 Post by denti alligator » Fri Dec 09, 2005 5:37 pm

shirobamba wrote:
denti alligator wrote:[How about a fucking DVD of the film! (sorry, in a foul mood today
Nothing but random speculation, but I think, it isn't too far away, coming from BFI. The book doesn't make much sense w/out the DVD
Da hast du recht. Aber denken die Leute bei BFI so wie wir?
Dunno, maybe the book will only get people screaming louder for the DVD. What's the rights situation here in region 1-land?

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FilmFanSea
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Distant Voices, Still Lives

#6 Post by FilmFanSea » Fri Dec 09, 2005 6:15 pm

denti alligator wrote:What's the rights situation here in region 1-land?

Artisan released the VHS of Distant Voices, Still Lives, so Lion's Gate may have the DVD rights for Region 1. <sigh>

I will hold out patiently for the bfi to do the right thing (the film finished at #82 in the bfi's list of the 100 "favourite British films of the 20th century").

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devlinnn
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Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes

#7 Post by devlinnn » Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:04 pm

My question,
I've been waiting for quite some time on news of the BFI releasing their Terence Davies films - The Trilogy, Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes on DVD. Is there good news on the horizon?
The response,
The first two titles you suggest will hopefully be out on DVD late 2006.

Regards
Claire Cooke
PA / Production Assistant
bfi Video
Finally some concrete news, of sorts. This has made my year.

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shirobamba
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Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes

#8 Post by shirobamba » Mon Jan 09, 2006 7:08 pm

devlinnn wrote:The first two titles you suggest will hopefully be out on DVD late 2006.
That's really great news!!! Thanks for posting this!

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ellipsis7
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#9 Post by ellipsis7 » Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:57 am

From Screendaily.com...

[quote]The British Film Institute (BFI) has announced the opening program of the refurbished National Film Theatre, which is set to reopen as BFI Southbank on 1 Feb, 2007.

The opening season will include a restored print of Luis Bunuel's Los Olvidados and a special run of Distant Voices, Still Lives, including an onstage presentation by director Terence Davies. The BFI will also distribute the Davies film to select cinemas around the UK.

Continuing the program, a series of 50 films selected for their contribution to shaping cinema, including Alejandro Jodorowsky's El Topo and The Summer of Love – 1967 Revisited. Themed seasons are also scheduled, such as the Chinese martial arts program Heroic Grace with restored King Hu, Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan prints.

In addition to its current three cinemas, BFI Southbank will have numerous public spaces to host events, display archive material and showcase new-media projects. A fourth screen, The Studio Cinema, encourages visitors to drop in and view BFI selections.

Also new to the space is the BFI Mediatheque, which was designed by architect David Adjaye and is equipped with free-access viewing stations to watch film and television programs from the BFI archives. Its opening program includes Essentially British, featuring 100 UK film and TV shows, from Carry On Camping to Bullet Boy.

The 160sqm Gallery area launches with American duo Kevin and Jennifer McCoy's exhibition Tiny, Funny, Big and Sad and will go on to showcase more screen-based art installations by contemporary artists who work in film, video and new technology.

According to BFI Artistic Director Eddie Berg, “When the National Film Theatre opened back in the 1950s, no one could have imagined the range of new and emerging technologies, or the sheer scope of work that would emerge from film-makers, artists working in film, musicians, VJs and DIY producers. We plan to build on the traditions of the BFI … while reflecting developing influences on the cinematic form and experience.â€

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devlinnn
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#10 Post by devlinnn » Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:35 pm

Yes, we were (slightly) promised by the BFI the Terence Davies Trilogy and Distant Voices, Still Lives this year. Surely this a no brainer for Criterion to whip up as well.

Tim
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#11 Post by Tim » Fri Dec 08, 2006 3:41 am

Fantastic news about the Bill Douglas trilogy. I wrote to the BFI years ago urging its release and they said at the time that they had had many similar requests and would like to release it someday but had no immediate plans. These are indeed great films (though grim may be too mild a word for them) and, while comparisons are unnecessary, they certainly did a whole lot more for me than the Terence Davies trilogy did.

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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#12 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:01 am

For those with satellite access to Artsworld the trilogy is playing this week and was preceeded by an hour long doc. about Douglas.

Distant Voices plays on December 17th. too.

spencerw
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#13 Post by spencerw » Sun Jan 21, 2007 7:18 am

Forgive me if this has been mentioned before, but the latest BFI Members' Booklet has some news about Terence Davies' Distant Voices, Still Lives:
A new restoration from the BFI National Archive will be released into cinemas in Spring 2007 and will be followed by a DVD release later in the year

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Subbuteo
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#14 Post by Subbuteo » Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:43 pm

No apologies required and many thanks for that wonderful snippet of great news. About time this got a release...good old Bfi!

spencerw
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#15 Post by spencerw » Mon May 28, 2007 4:39 am

Having now seen the BFI's restored print of Terence Davies' Distant Voices, Still Lives at a cinema, I thought I would make a few comments that some may find helpful when the DVD appears shortly. Yes, the images are rather soft. Yes, the film is decidedly grainy in appearance. Yes, the colours are muted. Any reviewer who complains about these qualties may well be asking for something that the original film never delivered!

Narshty
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#16 Post by Narshty » Wed Jul 11, 2007 4:23 am

From Zeta Minor:

Distant Voices, Still Lives on July 30th, £19.99 rrp.
The film will be presented in anamorphic 1.78:1 format, with optional HoH subtitles "on all items".

The disc will feature a commentary track and filmed interviews with Davies; a filmed introduction with Art Director Miki van Zwanenberg; an original trailer; and a twenty-four page booklet, containing essays by Beryl Bainbridge and Adrian Danks, and an original review from the Monthly Film Bulletin.
Bigger Than Life (artwork at above link) also on July 30th, also £19.99:
The film will be presented in anamorphic 2.35:1 format, with optional HoH subtitles "on all items".

Bonus features include a commentary track by Edward Buscombe; a new filmed conversation about the film and its director, between Jim Jarmusch (Ray's friend, and assistant); extracts from a 1969 interview with Ray; an original theatrical trailer; and a twenty-two page booklet featuring biographies and essays by Geoff Andrew (author of The Films of Nicholas Ray), Jeanine Basinger and Susan Ray.

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ellipsis7
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#17 Post by ellipsis7 » Wed Jul 11, 2007 6:05 am

The filmed i/v with Terence Davies is by Geoff Andrew on DISTANT VOICES, STILL LIVES... No mention however of a commentary track by Davies, which kind of makes sense, as a constant prattle would negate the power and effect of this particular film, and I suspect not something Davies would do...

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MichaelB
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#18 Post by MichaelB » Wed Jul 11, 2007 6:11 am

ellipsis7 wrote:No mention however of a commentary track by Davies, which kind of makes sense, as a constant prattle would negate the power and effect of this particular film, and I suspect not something Davies would do...
Actually, Narshty did mention a commentary track, and I can confirm that this is the case, having listened to it myself.

And Terence Davies is only too happy to talk about his films in just about any context you care to mention, so a commentary isn't that much of a surprise.

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ellipsis7
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#19 Post by ellipsis7 » Wed Jul 11, 2007 6:21 am

Thanks for putting me right on that one - just strange they did not advertise the fact in S&S...

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foggy eyes
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#20 Post by foggy eyes » Thu Jul 19, 2007 10:16 am

Thanks Gropius - it does seem unlikely, but one can only hope.

Two major forthcoming releases are available to pre-order at £11.99 from HMV:

Bigger Than Life.

Distant Voices, Still Lives.

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Tommaso
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#21 Post by Tommaso » Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:39 am

Covers and info on these two discs and the two new Mitchell and Kenyon collections is now up on the bfi site. Sadly, no In The Nursery soundtrack this time, but we get Neil Brand amongst others, and that's a fair option as well. Being a James Joyce fan, I'm particularly interested in the Irish films, made at exactly the time in which the "Ulysses" is set.

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John Hodson
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#22 Post by John Hodson » Mon Jul 30, 2007 2:24 pm

Bigger Than Life arrived today; the BFI has eschewed the rather nice digipack design they used for their last Fox title, The Innocents, choosing a more conventional transparent Amaray, the chapter listing printed on the inside of the front cover. The box also holds the rather nicely produced booklet, on good grade paper, plus, a little bizarrely, the BFI's 2006 catalogue.

A quick run through and this appears to be a very nicely produced disc on every level; the anamoprhic 'scope transfer itself looks to be excellent, almost blemish free, colourful and detailed.

Ed Buscombe's commentary sounds both scholerly and interesting, leaving almost no detail of the production uncommented on. There's a short and informal chat between Jim Jarmusch and Jonathan Rosenbaum..

The 1969 interview is sound only, played over stills, from an NFT interview. The trailer shows just how bad film stocks can get, the colour trailer being almost wholly magneta. I prefer original poster art where possible, but the cover design is quite nice, and the little touches are also well done - the menu design and type faces used.

The soundtrack is English mono; there's no other language choice. There are subtitles for the hard of hearing and the commentary is also subtitled.

All in all, a super package and throroughly recommended.
Last edited by John Hodson on Thu Aug 02, 2007 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#23 Post by What A Disgrace » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:01 pm

As Bigger Than Life sounds like a film to own...and as Criterion seems to have ended their relationship with Fox to some degree...I've just ordered the BFI disc. And since Davies sounds like something not to miss, I've also ordered Distant Voices, Still Lives as well.

I expect that two disc Criterion editions will be announced in two weeks.

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filmyfan
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#24 Post by filmyfan » Sat Oct 13, 2007 4:52 am

I have recieved the nod that the following Terence Davies' will be released in Spring 2008.

The Long Day Closes
The TD Trilogy.

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What A Disgrace
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#25 Post by What A Disgrace » Sat Oct 13, 2007 9:14 pm

I'll most definitely be picking up those Davies films. Great to see that they're coming so soon...Distant Voices was a real revelation.

Doesn't BFI also own Bill Douglas's films?

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