Terence Davies was easily “Britain's greatest living film director,” as the Evening Standard recognised: from his transcendental trilogy of shorts, to his pointilist, absolutely essential pair of debut features, interrogating familial memory, religion and sexuality, and the adolescent self, plus his lyrical documentary on his city, Liverpool; from, more recently, his adaptations of classic novels and plays, which stick out in time, to his still highly personal biopics of poets. his passing, at 77, aches as hard as Abbas Kiarostami's (who was 76), because they both still had so much more to share—Davies just released a short film last month, entitled "Passing Time".
i first watched his cinema, on DVD, at 18 and i still think of certain fades, musical sequences, and even wallpaper patterns, half a life later. he was a true auteur; pure poetry and passionate pain on screen. he arrived without precedence and leaves without a successor. his epitaph quotes Horace: “Pulvis et Umbra Sumus” (“We are but dust and shadows”). vale, maestro.