British director given retrospective

MADRID — Following a well-received Cannes out-of-competition outing for his latest film, “Of Time and the City,” Brit director Terence Davies will continue his return to the film festival limelight with a career retrospective tribute at September’s 56th San Sebastian Film Festival.

The biggest fest in the Spanish-speaking world honors one contempo director each year. Davies follows in the footsteps of Michael Winterbottom, who was honored last year.

The tribute will include the publication of a book, one of San Sebastian’s longtime fortes. The essay collection will be co-ordinated by Quim Casas.

Davies is “one of the most exceptional and innovative moviemakers in European cinema today, the author of a highly personal and evocative work, a pioneer in the search for new languages between fiction, autobiography and the documentary, placing particular emphasis on music,” the San Sebastian Festival said Friday, justifying its decision to select the Liverpool-born Davies for a homage.

Davies can also be seen as a director who, like Karel Reisz and Lindsay Anderson, Ken Loach and Stephen Frears before him, enriches the central British filmmaking tradition of reality-rooted social drama.

Davies leapt to attention with features “Distant Voices, Still Lives” in 1988 and “The Long Day Closes” in 1992, both semi-autobiographical films that screened to critical acclaim.

Following 2000’s “The House of Mirth,” he spent eight years without making a film, seeing the U.K. Film Council pull funding from “Sunset Song.”

San Sebastian, which runs Sept. 18-27, will aid Davies’ rehabilitation.

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