Distant Voices, Still Lives
Dir. Terence Davies. 1988, 85 mins. 35mm. With Freda Dowie, Pete Postlethwaite. Davies became the hero of contemporary British cinema when this masterpiece premiered to acclaim in Cannes. This autobiographical story of a working-class family in 1950s Liverpool, which takes place before and after the death of its abusive patriarch (Pete Postlethwaite, in his breakthrough), is a hauntingly emotional, exquisitely designed, and, in its fragmented chronology, a narratively unconventional take on the cinematic memory piece. In a Time Out poll of film industry experts, Distant Voices, Still Lives was named the third greatest British film.