Wow, clearing all those original song and dialogue bits must’ve been an absolute bitch.
Somehow even simpler than Terence Davies previous feature-length, and for the most part, that’s actually a good thing; The Long Day Closes feels so much more relaxed and elegant because of it, and the picture almost moves in a way like riding one of those Disneyland dark rides / ghost trains but depicted for a live-action slice of life rather than for some tall tale cartoon. Not to mention, Davies transitioning has somehow gotten BETTER; seriously! Only two movies seen to his name and I’d already consider him a contender for one of the best in that regard! Yet, as it lent itself into minimalistic and “mood-piece” territory even more so than Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988), it caused me to have less to say and ponder contextually about it as Davies’ own work than I had with that previous project.
I think the reason why I liked this more than I may have otherwise though, besides obviously from how clean it is on a technical level, is because of just how relatable and almost therapeutic it was. The world and struggles of Bud are depicted in such a cinematic manner seemingly though through his own perspective of the ordeals, and it quite reminded me of when I was his age, often perceiving many of my in-the-moment experiences as if they were all happening cinematically, which has evidently led to why I’ve continued to see film as such a crucial part of my character and existence, and even as my escape of innocence. But maybe rationalizing even further than just that, it could be because of how the movie also comes off like a shifting memory bubble such as Distant Voices, Still Lives, where occasionally shots will show us a memory involving Bud, but then linger off our subject for a while scouting out the environment. This is also relatable since I too can rarely remember that many very specific snippets or “scenes” that occurred during my childhood, yearning to play them out longer than I usually can by exercising my brain into remembering all the specific details about the exterior atmosphere that it had occurred in to possibly trigger something of content.
“The Long Day Closes” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel.