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Directed by Terence Davies
UK 1992

 

Following his prize-winning debut feature film Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988), in 1992 Terence Davies made The Long Day Closes, now released by the BFI on DVD for the first time, alongside The Terence Davies Trilogy.

Terence Davies' lyrical hymn to childhood revisits the same territory as Distant Voices, Still Lives, this time focusing on his own memories of growing up in a working-class Catholic family in Liverpool.

Eleven-year-old Bud (a heartbreaking performance from Leigh McCormack) finds escape from the greyness of '50s Britain through trips to the cinema and in the warmth of family life. But as he gets older, the agonies of the adult world; the casual cruelty of bullying, the tyranny of school and the dread of religion, begin to invade his life.

Time and memory blend and blur through Davies' fluid camerawork; slow tracking shots, pans and dreamlike dissolves combine to create the world of Bud's imagination and the lost paradise of his childhood.

Excerpt from BFI located HERE

Poster available at UKQuad.com located HERE

Theatrical Release: May 22nd, 1992

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Comparison:

BFI - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT

2) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

Distribution BFI Video - Region 2 - PAL Criterion Collection, Spine #694 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:21:45 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:25:33.169 
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.29 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Disc Size: 46,412,182,293 bytes

Feature Size: 25,194,577,920 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.93 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

Bitrate: Blu-ray
Audio English (2.0 - uncompressed PCM stereo audio)  LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English, None NOTE: Optional subtitles for the hearing impaired on the feature film and commentary tracks! English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Full feature commentary with Terence Davies and Director of Photography Mick Coulter
• On-set interview with production designer Christopher Hobbs (3:39)
• Previously unseen behind-the-scenes footage of Terence Davies directing (8:02)

Trailer for Of Time and the City (2:13)
• 18-page illustrated booklet with essays, director biography and credits

DVD Release Date: July 28th, 200
8
Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 10

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Disc Size: 46,412,182,293 bytes

Feature Size: 25,194,577,920 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.93 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

 

Edition Details:
• 
Audio commentary by Davies and Coulter
• Episode of the British television series The South Bank Show from 1992, featuring Davies, footage from the film’s production, and interviews with cast and crew (47:24)
• New interviews with executive producer Colin MacCabe (13:54) and production designer Christopher Hobbs (20:28)
• Trailer (2:47)
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Koresky

DVD containing all the feature and all the extras of the Blu-ray.

Blu-ray Release Date: February 18th, 2014
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 13

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - January 2014': Criterion's 1080P image takes big strides beyond the BFI SD.  The Blu-ray visuals are extremely sharper, brighter, higher level of detail and colors are both bolder and tighter. It's a pretty big advancement.

NOTE: "Both (The Long Day Closes and Distant Voices, Still Lives) films underwent a bleach-bypass process to attain Davies' preferred period look for each film (although DVSL uses this process somewhat more heavily). This procedure usually occurs near the end of the lab while making prints, but for the new HD transfer Davies and Coulter worked hard to achieve this look at the telecine stage. Whatever occasional minor loss of detail or saturation is compensated by delivering what is Davies' and Coulter's true and definitive vision of their film."

Audio is in a linear PCM 2.0 channel track at 2304 kbps. Bob Last and Robert Lockhart's score sounds great - subtle and crisp via the lossless. There are optional subtitles on the Region 'A'-locked disc.

We get the same audio commentary by Terence Davies and Director of Photography Mick Coulter recorded in 2007. It's a decent one. There is also a 47-minute episode of the British television series The South Bank Show from 1992, featuring Davies discussing growing up in Liverpool, his love for the Hollywood musical, footage from the film’s production, and interviews with cast and crew. Criterion offer two new interviews the first with professor and film critic Colin MacCabe who discusses his role as Executive Producer on The Long Day Closes. It runs 14-minutes. The second is 20-minutes with production designer Christopher Hobbs who describes building the sets for The Long Day Closes, creating the special effects and reconstructing director Terence Davis childhood memories. There is also a trailer and the package contains a liner notes booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Koresky. Being Dual-Format there is also DVD containing all the feature and all the extras of the Blu-ray.

GREAT release - I loved seeing this again in 1080P. What a super choice fro Criterion to put to Blu-ray. Strongly recommended!

***

ON THE BFI DVD: To my knowledge this classic is released on DVD for the first time. It looks perhaps a notch above BFI's Distant Voices, Still Lives as far as image quality goes and has the same 'look'. It has some noise and the film has many dark scenes. Detail is rather mediocre at times but has a very consistent feel - a bit heavy but the images are so wonderful. The transfer has no visible damage marks. It's dual-layered and anamorphic. The uncompressed PCM audio sounded quite pure with clean and clear dialogue - supported by optional English subtitles (for the commentary too).

The supplements are fabulous - another adept, soft-spoken commentary from Terence Davies - this time with director of photography Mick Coulter. Accents (Coulter's Scottish - <my guess> - brogue) are on the thick side so the optional commentary subtitles are very much appreciated (sample below). It's a fun commentary with lots of socializing and recollections although plenty of good information is imparted as well. There is also a short, 3 minute, on-set interview with production designer Christopher Hobbs and some previously unseen behind-the-scenes footage of Terence Davies directing - essentially one specific scene from the film - lasting just over 8 minutes. We are treated to a trailer for Of Time and the City and an 18-page illustrated booklet with essays, director biography and credits.

NOTE: Looking at the VoB files I see perhaps there is more than I have mentioned, beyond accessibility from the menus, as far as supplements go - but I'll investigate further and contact BFI to see if I'm mistaken. I'll report here if I find anything additional. I was very pleased with what I was able to access.

Bottom line: Immensely poignant - magnificent - must see cinema - possibly our DVD of the Month. Strongly recommended!  

Gary W. Tooze

 


Menus


 

Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

Sample of Commentary subtitle on BFI

 

 


Screen Captures

 

1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


Box Covers

Distribution BFI Video - Region 2 - PAL Criterion Collection, Spine #694 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

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