The little-seen first and only film by Ray Davies, songwriter and lead singer of The Kinks, is an offbeat musical that takes off from and expands the possibilities of the then-newly emergent music-video format while revisiting many of the themes of Davies’s songs of modern discontent and nostalgia. The reverie of a middle-aged man (Kenneth Colley) over the course of his train commute plays out memories of tarnished dreams, regrets, and unsettling imaginings and intimations of dark impulses, accompanied by nine Davies compositions that together encapsulate a life of quiet desperation. Modestly mounted but made with great assurance, with camerawork by Roger Deakins, it’s a time capsule of 1980s London that could almost be a rebuke to the bombast of Pink Floyd The Wall and its more overblown vision of modern discontent. Bonus early appearance by Tim Roth.
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