11 – Terence Davies Interview, Music by David Lisle
Episode 11 starts with two potential theme songs for Andy’s Treasure Trove submitted by listener and friend David Lisle, followed by Andy’s interview with British actor, writer and director Terence Davies. Born in 1945 in Liverpool, England, Terence Davies was the youngest of 10 children in a Catholic working-class family who suffered with an abusive father, bullies at school, the abuses of the Catholic Church and his own legendary self-loathing for being gay. After a shut-down adolescence he spent years as an accountant. He got into acting and then writing and filmmaking. His first 3 short films made in the 1980’s entitled Children, Madonna and Child, and Death and Transfiguration later became known as The Terence Davies Trilogy. They were semi-autobiographical glimpses into the harrowing life of torment experienced by Davies in post-WWII Liverpool. In his first feature film, 1988’s Distant Voices, Still Lives, the family again lives in the shadow of a monstrously abusive father, this time played by the great British character actor Pete Postlethwaite, whom Davies says is the only actor to play a member of his family who actually looked like the person they were portraying.
Andy talks to Terence Davies about the 1992 film The Long Day Closes, a beautiful film centering on the favorite time of Davies’ childhood between the time his abusive father died and the family could relax a little, and the onset of his own highly fraught adolescence. They talk about several of his favorite cinematic techniques including his re-contextualizing of fragments of soundtracks from other movies, about the lost tradition of public singing in Britain, and of the chronic low self-esteem that haunts this great artist. Also about his new documentary/essay film about Liverpool entitled Of Time and the City, opening on Jan. 21 at Film Forum in NYC following a buzz-generating special screening at the Cannes film festival last year. Terence Davies is also being honored at New York’s Museum of Modern Art this week. In an article in the New York Times yesterday (Jan. 11th), Dennis Lim compared Terence Davies with the English singer Morrissey in that they have both made a beautiful body of work based on misery. Andy spoke to Terence Davies following a chance meeting at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley California. See keywords, links and a photo below:
Keywords and Links:
Andy’s Treasure Trove online store, www.andystreasuretrove.com, Terence Davies, theme music, theme songs, David Lisle, The Great Hall of 100 Treasure Boxes, Liverpool, England, abusive father, Children, Madonna and Child, Death and Transfiguration, The Terence Davies Trilogy, Distant Voices, Still Lives, Pete Postlethwaite, Postlewaite, The Long Day Closes, The Neon Bible, The House of Mirth, Film Forum, Cannes Film Festival, New York Times, Dennis Lim, Morrissey, Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, California, Leigh McCormack, autobiographical films and plays, T.S. Eliott’s Four Quartets, Brueckner, depression, The Ladykillers, Kind Hearts and Coronets, Meet Me In St. Louis, 20th Century Fox Fanfare, Randy Newman’s Uncle Alfred Newman, Nat King Cole, Stardust, cinematic look, technique, testing, light, texture, Anaglypta textured wallpaper, Christopher Hobbs, film editing, timing, A Shropshire Lad, George Butterworth, British Film Institute Fellow, public and private singing in Great Britain, popular music, lyrics, Cole Porter, vulgarization and decline of most artforms in the last 40 years, Rogers and Hart, Hammerstein, Hoagy Carmichael, Great Period of American Songwriting, Lorenz Hart, Of Time And The City, BBC, Listen With Mother, Williamson Square, Berceuse (lullaby) from The Dolly Suite by Gabriel Faure, Alchemy, Magic, Andy’s Treasure Trove Listener Call-in Line: 415-508-4084.
A personal note from Andy: My favorite color is NOT mauve, despite the lyrics of David Lisle’s wacky theme song for Andy’s Treasure Trove on this episode. :o)