Page last updated at 16:39 GMT, Wednesday, 21 May 2008 17:39 UK

Director slates 'lousy' US cinema

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Davies is best known for his 1988 film Distant Voices, Still Lives

Director Terence Davies has urged his fellow British film-makers to reject "sub-American nonsense" and create films made in and about the UK instead.

"If we are going to have a national cinema, we have got to make stories which arise from our islands," he said. "The American template is very often lousy. Why do we want to imitate it?"

The Liverpool-born director spoke out as he launched his latest documentary, Of Time and the City, at the Cannes Film Festival.

The 74-minute film has been hailed by critics, with Screen Daily's Howard Feinstein describing it as "an outstanding work".

Shocking slums

Described as "both a love song and eulogy", the film charts Liverpool's transition from the squalor of the post-war period to the urban regeneration of the 1960s.

Davies, who left the city in 1973, said he "wanted to capture the essence of what it was like to be a Liverpudlian".

Some of the archive footage of the city's slums shocked the director, "even though I grew up in one", he said.

It is the 62-year-old's first film since The House of Mirth, his Bafta-nominated 2000 adaptation of the Edith Wharton novel.

His drama Distant Voices, Still Lives won the Fipresci Prize at Cannes in 1988.

Shot for £250,000, Of Time and the City is one of three films commissioned for Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture.


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