Cover for KORESKY: Terence Davies. Click for larger image
Ebook Information

Terence Davies

An appraisal of one of contemporary cinema's most admired and confounding figures

Called the most important British filmmaker of his generation, Terence Davies made his reputation with modern classics like Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes, personal works exploring his fractured childhood in Liverpool. His idiosyncratic and unorthodox narrative films defy easy categorization, as their seeming existence within realism and personal memory cinema is undermined by an abstractness that makes the way he lays bare personal pain come across as distant, even alien.

Film critic Michael Koresky explores the unique emotional tenor of Davies's work by focusing on four paradoxes within the director's oeuvre: films that are autobiographical yet fictional; melancholy yet elating; conservative in tone and theme yet radically constructed; and obsessed with the passing of time yet frozen in time and space. Through these contradictions, the films' intricate designs reveal a cumulative, deeply personal meditation on the self. Koresky also analyzes how Davies's ongoing negotiation of--and struggle with--questions of identity related to his past and his homosexuality imbue the details and jarring juxtapositions in his films with a queer sensibility, which is too often overlooked due to the complexity of Davies's work and his unfashionable ambivalence toward his own sexual orientation.


"Koresky. . . . regards Terence Daviesís work as 'one of the richest, most idiosyncratic, and arrestingly experimental bodies of work put out by a narrative filmmaker,' and his monograph in the University of Illinois Contemporary Film Directors series is both informative and insightful."--Sight and Sound

"Britain's finest living director finally gets the analytic overview and close reading that he deserves. . . . Koresky is especially perceptive. Recommended."--Choice

"Michael Koresky's study of Davies is above all attuned to the contradictions that define his life and inform his work, namely 'beauty and ugliness, the real and the artificial, progression and tradition, motion and stasis.' Koresky unpacks the paradoxes intrinsic to Davies's project with clarity and rigor, dividing his aesthetic among the fiction of autobiography (refraction of personal memories for poetic effect), the elation of melancholy (sensually pleasing depictions of excruciating events), the radical traditional (classical themes embedded in avant-garde constructions), and the suspension of forward motion."--Film Comment

"A significant contribution to the field. Koresky is able to both chart the development of Davies' cinema, while convincingly conveying the coherence and continuity of both theme and style at the heart of this very singular auteur." --Duncan Petrie, author of Creativity and Constraint in the British Film Industry


Michael Koresky is staff writer and associate editor at The Criterion Collection and cofounder of the online film magazine Reverse Shot.

To order online:
//www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/75efa6gq9780252038617.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
Subject to Reality - Cover
Subject to Reality

Women and Documentary Film

Shilyh Warren

Queer Timing - Cover
Queer Timing

The Emergence of Lesbian Sexuality in Early Cinema

Susan Potter

Michael Bay - Cover
Michael Bay

Lutz Koepnick

Strange Natures - Cover
Strange Natures

Futurity, Empathy, and the Queer Ecological Imagination

Nicole Seymour

Alice in Pornoland - Cover
Alice in Pornoland

Hardcore Encounters with the Victorian Gothic

Laura Helen Marks

Journal of Film and Video - Cover
Journal of Film and Video

Edited by Stephen Tropiano

Queer Pollen - Cover
Queer Pollen

White Seduction, Black Male Homosexuality, and the Cinematic

David A. Gerstner

Todd Haynes - Cover
Todd Haynes

Rob White

Abbas Kiarostami - Cover
Abbas Kiarostami

Expanded Second Edition

Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa and Jonathan Rosenbaum

Cinematic Encounters 2 - Cover
Cinematic Encounters 2

Portraits and Polemics

Jonathan Rosenbaum

Slapstick Modernism - Cover
Slapstick Modernism

Chaplin to Kerouac to Iggy Pop

William Solomon

François Ozon - Cover
François Ozon

Thibaut Schilt

Cinematic Encounters - Cover
Cinematic Encounters

Interviews and Dialogues

Jonathan Rosenbaum

Pink-Slipped - Cover
Pink-Slipped

What Happened to Women in the Silent Film Industries?

Jane M. Gaines