Sunday, May 30, 2010

Of Time and the City

Of Time and the City is a 2008 art documentary about Liverpool. My wife wanted to watch it after reading about it in The Atlantic.

I have very mixed feelings about the film. On the basic level, it's the type of documentary I really hate: all voice-over and music with mostly stock footage. And the VO is read by a pompous windbag. Almost all of the VO is quoting famous poets and other writers.

However, once you are past the first ten minutes, you get used to the annoying VO and learn a little about the filmmaker and his relationship with the city. You also get better footage as you go along so by the end it becomes more interesting. And seeing the historical changes are worth watching.

The music is very mixed. Some of it is classical, some of it is pop, some is jazz. Most of the choices are extremely obvious (Liszt, then Mahler's Resurrection Symphony for the ending are typical examples). There is so little that is original about this film it's very hard for me to recommend it.

Film students will love it.

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