The Long Day Closes
Marjorie Yates, Leigh McCormack, Anthony Watson, Nicholas Lamont,
“The music of the years gone by”: with Nat “King” Cole singing “Stardust” while the camera slowly moves past tattered movie posters and down a dim studio street, Davies ushers us gently, lovingly into another world. This is a land of music and shadows and light, also known as 1956 Liverpool, where an eleven-year-old boy gazes through windows and dreams of pictures. The Long Day Closes maps some of the same autobiographical terrain as Davies’s earlier work (although here the family is a happy nest of feminine warmth, without a father’s troubling presence). But the subject of the film is not so much the events of a life as the drama of consciousness. Tableaux flow one into another, theater, church, and schoolroom all part of the same interior landscape. Tracking the passage of time with sun crossing a battered carpet, making the moon gleam through clouds like a projector beam through cigarette smoke, Davies unites the textures of cinema with those of memory.