In fairy tales, love inspires you to be noble and courageous, but in real life, love is just an all-purpose excuse for selfish behavior. You can lie and cheat and hurt people, and it’s all okay because you’re in love.
Last week, just before the release of his new film Sunset Song, beloved filmmaker Terence Davies (widely considered to be Britain’s greatest living auteur) stopped by the Criterion kitchen for lunch. Davies’s films—from his melancholy autobiographical drama The Long Day Closes to his devastating adaptation of Terence Ratigan’s The Deep Blue Sea—are layered studies of human emotion, exposing both the depths of suffering and the joys that make life worth living. An unsurprisingly quick-witted and passionate conversationalist, Davies was quite simply a pleasure to be around—and he became especially animated when our discussion drifted toward two of his great loves: the plays of Anton Chekhov and musicals from the 1950s.