British director Terence Davies, whose work shaped his difficult upbringing, has died “after a short illness,” his friends said. He was 77.
Davis’ death was announced on his Instagram page. The director, who died at home on Saturday, gained acclaim for his fictional autobiographies, including Distant Voices, Still Lifes and Long Day’s End, as well as literary adaptations, including Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, starring Gillian. Anderson and “Deep Blue Sea” with Rachel Weisz.
More recent works include A Quiet Passion, a 2017 biopic of Emily Dickinson starring Cynthia Nixon, and Blessing, a 2021 Netflix drama starring Jack Lowden about the journey of British war poet Siegfried Sassoon to personal salvation.
“It’s always a shock when people say my films are depressing,” Davis told the Los Angeles Times during a 2017 interview.
“My films are not very happy because I am not very happy,” he said. “I’m drawn to films about struggle and darkness. I’m attracted to a certain kind of courage. I am drawn to creative people who are not recognized.”
He was born in Liverpool, England in 1945 and raised as a Roman Catholic. As a gay man, he fought for the tenets of his religion and addressed the pain of his youth in the documentary Of Time and the City, which premiered at Cannes in 2008.
“I think the glass is half empty,” he told The Times. “No matter how optimistic I was, he was killed as a child. When you watch your abusive father die within two years and then have the body at home for 10 days, it ruins the romance. This increases the need for romance, but suppresses it.”
Davis worked for ten years as a clerk in a shipping office and as an accountant in an accounting firm before enrolling in drama school in 1973. He made his film debut with the trilogy of films “Children”, “Madonna and Child” and “Death and Death”. Transfiguration” of the late 1970s – early 80s.
After Fun Home in the early 2000s, he took an eight-year break from films, a low point he described to the Guardian as a descent into deep despair. But he returned to his craft, making four films.
He celebrated his revival, telling The Times in 2017 that it was “two bites from the cherry, and some people don’t even get the first bite.”