Watch The Long Day Closes
- 1 hr 25 min
The Long Day Closes is a 1992 film directed by Terence Davies. Set in Liverpool during the 1950s, the movie is a semi-autobiographical account of Davies' upbringing. The story unfolds through the eyes of an 11-year-old boy named Bud, played by Leigh McCormack. Bud is an innocent and sensitive child; he is fascinated by the world around him and has an active imagination. He lives with his mother, played by Marjorie Yates, and his two older siblings, Maisie and John.
The film has no real plot to speak of. Instead, it is a series of vignettes that capture the small moments of Bud's life. We see him playing with his friends in the street, going to the cinema, attending school, and spending time with his family. Everything is seen from his point of view, which means that the film has a dreamlike quality to it. Time moves slowly, and the narrative is disjointed.
Despite the film's lack of a linear story, there are a few threads that run throughout. Chief among these is Bud's relationship with his family. We see how he idolizes his older siblings, especially his sister Maisie, who is his hero. Bud's mother is a warm and loving figure who comforts him when he is upset. His father is largely absent from his life, but he is clearly missed.
Another thread that runs through the film is the music. Bud is a huge fan of the popular songs of the day, and we hear them throughout the movie. The songs are used to underscore the emotions of the characters and to create a sense of place and time. The film is filled with nostalgia, and the music is a key way that this is achieved.
One of the most striking things about the film is its look. Davies has a distinctive visual style that is on full display here. The film is shot almost entirely in soft-focus, with filters used to create a hazy, dreamlike atmosphere. The camera lingers on small details, like the patterns on a kitchen tablecloth or the way light streams through a window. The effect is beautiful and poetic.
Despite the film's quiet nature, there are a few scenes that stand out. One of the most memorable is a sequence set in a cinema. We see Bud watching a film, and the action on-screen is intercut with shots of the audience watching it. The effect is dizzying and disorienting, and it captures the feeling of being lost in a film.
Another standout scene takes place at a school dance. We see Bud awkwardly trying to dance with a girl he likes, and the camera spins around them, creating a sense of movement and excitement. The scene is a rare burst of energy in an otherwise slow-moving film.
The Long Day Closes is not a film for everyone. Its lack of a traditional narrative and slow pace may put off some viewers. However, for those who are willing to give themselves over to its dreamlike atmosphere, it is a beautiful and evocative film. Terence Davies has created a delicate and impressionistic portrait of childhood that is both moving and memorable.