UK , West Germany
The second film in Terence Davies’s autobiographical series (along with “Trilogy” and “The Long Day Closes”) is an impressionistic view of a working-class family in 1940s and 1950s Liverpool, based on Davies’s own family. Through a series of exquisite tableaux Davies creates a deeply affecting photo album of a troubled family wrestling with the complexity of love.
‘The Shadow of the Sun’ draws upon Derek Jarman’s interest with alchemical processes as a metaphor for reprocessing Super-8 film. Jarman once described film’s union of light and matter as “an alchemical conjunction” and experimented throughout his career with creating dream symbolism through the superimposition of image and action. Originally called English Apocalypse, the film’s final title is derived from a 17th Century alchemical text that used the phrase as a synonym for the philosopher’s stone – the highly sought substance that turns base metals into gold and silver. The film was intended as a step toward the idea of an ambient video, that like its musical counterpart, was designed to enhance an environment.