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Terence Davies$
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Michael Koresky

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038617

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038617.001.0001

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Bathed in the Fading Light

Bathed in the Fading Light

Chapter:
(p.1) Bathed in the Fading Light
Source:
Terence Davies
Author(s):

Michael Koresky

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252038617.003.0001

This chapter examines the film career of British director Terence Davies. The cinema of Davies is one of contradictions—between beauty and ugliness, the real and the artificial, progression and tradition, motion and stasis. These opposites reflect a certain struggle, for the filmmaker and his characters, to make sense of a confusing and sometimes violent world. For Davies, this struggle constitutes a reckoning with his past, a highly personal account of a fractured childhood; for the viewer it has resulted in one of the richest, most idiosyncratic, and arrestingly experimental bodies of work put out by a narrative filmmaker. The chapter focuses on the distinct emotional quandaries Davies' films evoke in the viewer and proposes that their tonal and political in-betweenness is a form of cinematic queering. Through the exploration of their contradictions, these films function within seemingly recognizable generic parameters only to then explode and thus queer conventional notions of narrative cinema.

Keywords:   Terence Davies, filmmakers, filmmaking, British film directors, cinematic queering, narrative cinema

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