Of Time and the City

2008 Documentary

British filmmaker Terence Davies pays homage to the city of his birth in this visual essay on the seaside town of Liverpool. Described by Davies as "a love song and a eulogy," Of Time and the City uses vintage home movies and newsreel footage to paint a portrait of the Liverpool he knew as a child, a tough working-class community where decay and resilience walked side by side, even as many of the efforts to "improve" Liverpool in the '60s accomplished little beyond robbing it of its character and rough-hewn beauty. Combining a variety of found images with music and poetry, Of Time and the City explores how this slow evolution of Liverpool impacted the people who lived there, and how the people also became part of the city's ups and downs. Of Time and the City was screened as a special presentation at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.

Director: Terence Davies


  • ''Documentary'' is too impersonal a word and ''visual poem'' is too mushy a phrase to describe Of Time and the City, a short, beautiful, characteristically sublime memory piece by the great British auteur Terence Davies.

    Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly

    26 April 2013

  • It is a deeply personal piece of art that never descends into the confessional or the therapeutic, and a work of social and literary criticism that never lectures or hectors, but rather, with melancholy, tenderness and wit, manages to sing.

    A.O. Scott - The New York Times

    26 April 2013

  • Most of all, Davies proves himself to be a poet of the commonplace whose art is the exalting of the everyday. He may rail against "the British genius for creating the dismal," but his own work is anything but.

    Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times

    26 April 2013

  • Poetically composed, with marvelous lumps of wit and perspective, Of Times and The City is a masterwork.

    - The Hollywood Reporter

    26 April 2013

  • A caustic, witty, regretful elegy for a place so transformed that it's virtually unrecognizable.

    Scott Tobias - The A.V. Club

    26 April 2013


  • Sol Papadopoulos

    BAFTA Awards (2009)

  • Best British Documentary

    British Independent Film Awards (2008)

  • Best Documentary

    Chicago International Film Festival (2008)

  • British Director of the Year

    London Critics Circle Film Awards (2009)

  • Best Non-Fiction Film

    New York Film Critics Circle Awards (2009)