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Distant Voices, Still Lives

Posted by martinteller on September 20, 2008

Terence Davies’ semi-autobiographical look at his family living under the tyranny of a brutal father (“Distant Voices”) and after his death (“Still Lives”).  The structure is set up as a series of brief episodes, most about 90 seconds or less, in a rather unchronological order during the first half, and with a more linear progression in the second half.  It’s an intriguing set-up, although the subject matter is so familiar (I wish I had a nickel for every working-class douchebag father I’ve seen in movies from the UK) that it doesn’t feel as fresh as it should.  What stands out more is the use of music, as these folks are constantly entertaining each other, or getting their minds off some unpleasant business, by belting out a tune.  There must be about 50 songs in the film, mostly sung by the actors, but also some diegetic and non-diegetic songs on the soundtrack.  All in all, it didn’t knock my socks off, but it’s a good film with strong performances.  Rating: 8


One Response to “Distant Voices, Still Lives”

  1. […] 56. Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988, Terence Davies) […]

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