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Posts Tagged ‘film’

It’s remarkable to think some of us in the group were kids and teenagers when this wonderful documentary was made. Made for the BBC in 1958 and transmitted in early 1959, it depicts working-class life in the back-to-backs of an unnamed northern city. Much of the shooting took place in Liverpool, but areas of Manchester, Salford and Stockport also make an appearance.

As said in previous posts, as well as the subject matter’s being fascinating, the history of documentary is important too. Here is an example which was very unusual for its time with no ‘voice over’ and the use of music and people’s own voices.

We tend to forget how close we are to the ‘olden days’. For some of us our parents or grandparents were around when the workhouses were still operating. One of the group members is working on a project looking at Walton Workhouse where his grandfather worked.

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Of Time and the City

Terence Davies’ award winning film looks at Liverpool very much through a personal prism. Davies has not set out to make a documentary ‘about’ his city, although it does contain some wonderful archive material. Nor does he want to spend time eulogising football or the Beatles (in fact he has no interest in any pop music).

Instead, he weaves together his own narrative, poetry, music and a wonderful range of film footage to reflect more upon the nature of memory itself.

There are very many celebrations of Liverpool around, historical documentaries, ‘issue-based’ dramas and reportage, many of them excellent in their own terms, and a lot of them representing the dynamic field of production not considered mainstream. But Davies’ film, while inevitably evoking some of the many layers of time’s passing in this city, is more ‘about’ an individual’s very deep and unique response to the passage of time.

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