Having competed in the Official Section here in 2011 with The Deep Blue Sea and after having had a retrospective devoted to his work in 2008, Terence Davies returned to the Festival yesterday to present his latest film Sunset Song, an adaptation of the first part of Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s classic trilogy A Scots Quare. Accompanied by the actor Kevin Guthrie and the film’s producer Sol Papadopoulos, he answered questions on Sunset Song at a press conference he gave after the screening of the film in the Kursaal.
He acknowledged that he had watched the 1971 BBC adaptation on TV at the time and that this had led him to read the book, although he never thought he’d make anything of it. He revealed that he’d had numerous problems bringing the project to fruition: in fact it had taken him 18 years to get it to the big screen. He also stressed that he was not a political filmmaker so the references to socialism in the book hadn’t interested him. “The issue is the story and how the land changes.”
Kevin Guthrie said that he was very familiar with the book as it’s a revered classic , although heavily underrated. He stressed that the atmosphere on set had been great and that he had really appreciated Davies’s micro-directing style with very sparing notes and short rehearsals so as not to lose spontaneity. “Don’t act, just be!” was his guiding principle .