Terence Davies (1945-2023)
Terence Davies, the British filmmaker and novelist, passed away on October 7 at the age of 77. Born on November 10, 1946, in Liverpool, England, Davies had a filmmaking career that spanned many decades. Davies’ films were deeply rooted in autobiography, often reflecting his youth and his conflicted experience with being gay while growing up in England. He first gained acclaim with an early series of short films, later dubbed The Terence Davies Trilogy, and later with Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) and The Long Day Closes (1992).
As Michael Koresky writes in his obituary for BFI, Davies’ films could be thought of as musicals. They were “deeply interior works, which moved to the external rhythms of songs and melodies that were profoundly meaningful to him.” Making this comparison reveals both the joy and sadness at the heart of Davies’ cinema, because it also takes into account the sadness and estrangement that exists at the core of the musical genre.
As a tribute to the British director, Passing Time (2023), a film that Davies recorded to commemorate his sister, was screened during the opening night of Film Fest Gent.