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Terence Davies’ 10 Favorite Films

Written by on July 7, 2015 

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Right below is our first look at Terence DaviesA Quiet Passion, which chronicles the life and work of Emily Dickinson (here played by Cynthia Nixon). Since we’ve been waiting a little while for his next feature, Sunset Song — waiting earnestly, at least, since it began shooting in April of last year — it’s easy to forget that another picture is right behind, especially when its production was completed in only 26 days’ time. Keith Carradine and Jennifer Ehle will also be seen therein, though when that might happen is another matter. With any luck, fall festivals will have a double-billing on their hands. [Screen Flanders]

a_quiet_passion terence davies

In the meantime, those wanting a better look at Davies should consider his Sight & Sound list of ten favorite films. This, more than any other collection, has the air of an encapsulation. For one thing, it covers a short period of time (1942-1961) that corresponds to the years immediately preceding his birth and those constituting his youth; for another, it alternates only between U.S. and U.K. productions; and of equal interest is the mixture of nostalgia — either in-the-moment, e.g. The Magnificent Ambersons as the story of a once-great family’s plight, or retrospective, e.g. the effect Singin’ in the Rain has upon millions of people (young and old) each year — and (or sometimes with) peril, particularly pertaining to children (e.g. The Night of the Hunter and The Searchers). On the latter end, I inevitably think of his great The Long Day Closes, but that’s a single example; one might be able to look at these films as seeds for the entirety of Davies’ oeuvre.

Have a look at the list below, along with various videos relating to their entries:

Great Expectations (David Lean, 1946)

The Happiest Days of Your Life (Frank Launder, 1950)

Kind Hearts and Coronets (Robert Hamer, 1949)

Letter from an Unknown Woman (Max Ophüls, 1948)

The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942)

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