Legendary filmmaker Terence Davies may not work at a quick clip — his last film was 2011’s underrated and moving “The Deep Blue Sea” — but when he does get behind the camera, the result is always something special. And that’s the case for his upcoming “Sunset Song,” partially shot in 70mm, which finds the filmmaker at the peak of his powers.
Starring Agyness Deyn, Peter Mullan, and Kevin Guthrie, and based on the novel by Lewis Grassic Gibbon, the story is set just before WWI, and follows a young woman in a rural community who comes of age during a time of tremendous change. Here’s the official synopsis:
Sunset Song is Terence Davies’ intimate epic of hope, tragedy and love at the dawning of the Great War. A young woman’s endurance against the hardships of rural Scottish life, based on the novel by Lewis Grassic Gibbon, told with gritty poetic realism by Britain’s greatest living auteur. The film takes place during the early years of the twentieth century, with the conflicts and choices a young woman experiences reflecting the struggle between tradition and change; a struggle that continues to resonate today. Set in a rural community, Sunset Song is driven by the young heroine Chris and her intense passion for life, for the unsettling Ewan and for the unforgiving land. The First World War reaches out from afar, bringing the modern world to bear on the community in the harshest possible way, yet in a final moment of grace, Chris endures, now a woman of remarkable strength who is able to draw from the ancient land in looking to the future. Sunset Song is at once epic in emotional scale and deeply romantic at its core, given power by Terence Davies’ unflinching poetic realism.
The clip below, introduced by a version of the traditional song “The Wayfaring Stranger,” highlights the gorgeous cinematography in the film as well as the spirited performances. “Sunset Song” opens on May 13th.