Friday, 20 November 2015

Terence Davies: Post-Mirth

In his films, Davies is rather obviously drawn to the trapped, the stuck and the withdrawn: there are the manifold children incarcerated in dysfunctional families, Lily Bart in The House of Mirth, who overplays her hand in the fin-de-siecle marriage game, and The Deep Blue Sea’s Hester Collyer, crushed by the hypocrisy of postwar Englishness. His next film, about Emily Dickinson, continues the theme.

There’s a correlation to Davies’s own life too, and not simply in the firelight-illuminated territory of the small house in Liverpool where he spent his childhood, so brilliantly obsessed over in Distant Voices and The Long Day Closes, or the recent post-Mirth career paralysis...

This seems of a piece with aspects of the Davies emotional landscape familiar to anyone who has seen his early films. The “scar” that Catholicism left on him, for one: “I was terribly devout, I believed it completely. I prayed literally till my knees bled. My teenage years were awful because of that.” Then there was the realisation that he was gay (“that was even worse, that was beyond the grace of God. It was awful”), which he still appears to resent. “I have hated being gay, and I’ve been celibate for most of my life. Some people are just good at sex, and others aren’t; I’m one of them who isn’t. I’m just too self-conscious.” ...

The Guardian.

I've put Terry's name forward for The Guardian's Blind Date series, I reckon she'd be a right larf!

1 comment:

  1. “I have hated being gay, and I’ve been celibate for most of my life..."

    I'm sure he's always said before that he's been celibate all his life, so maybe he's finally been getting some action lately.