In Conversation: Terence Davies

This event has now ended. You can watch a recording here.

To mark the release of Terence Davies’ latest film Benediction, we are thrilled to welcome the acclaimed director onto The Cinema of Ideas to discuss the making of the film and his reflections on a long career as one of Britain’s foremost film poets. The live conversation will take place from 6:30-7:30pm, Tuesday 24 May.

Alongside this free talk, we will also be screening The Terence Davies Trilogy: a collection of three short autobiographical films made by Davies at the very start of his career (Children, Madonna and Child, Death and Transfiguration).

If you have any queries about the event, please get in touch at:

*Please note that The Terence Davies Trilogy can only be accessed from the UK and the European Union. The live conversation can be viewed worldwide.

The Terence Davies Trilogy, streaming 20 May – 2 June

In stark black and white, Terence Davies excavates the life of his fictional alter ego, Robert Tucker, in a narrative that slips between childhood, middle age and death, shaping the raw materials of his own life into a rich tapestry of experiences and impressions. Over the course of these three films, we witness the emergence of Davies’ singular talent and style, the refinement of his technique, and a director growing in confidence, soon to become regarded as one of British cinema’s greatest filmmakers.

Children (1976, 46 mins)

The opening film in Terence Davies’ powerful Liverpool-set trilogy introduces Robert Tucker as a withdrawn young boy, bullied at school and terrorised by a violent father. His strict Catholic upbringing hinders his sexual awakening and a visit to the doctor for anti-depressants elicits little sympathy (“still no interest in girls?”).

Madonna and Child (1980, 28 mins)

The second instalment of the trilogy finds Robert Tucker in middle age, with the clash of religion and sexuality taking its toll. A depressed loner who takes the ferry across the Mersey to work as an office clerk, Robert is haunted by nightmares of his own death and tormented by largely unfulfilled homosexual fantasies, his only consolation the companionship of his mother.

Death and Transfiguration (1983, 25 mins)

The anguished finale of the trilogy opens with the death of Robert Tucker’s beloved mother, jumping forwards in time to show an elderly Robert bedridden in hospital. Fragments of his past – a school nativity play, male physique magazines, a tender moment with mum – build to an unforgettable closing scene.



All the films in the programme are available to watch with closed captions and the talk on 24 May will be live-captioned.


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