Like Distant Voices, Still Lives, Davies' final autobiographical film rings wholly true, due to the richness and the rightness of the allusions he makes through sets, costumes, dialogue, music, radio and cinema itself. Such is Davies' artistry that he shapes his material (an impressionistic series of brief, plotless scenes recalled from 1955-6, when he was about to leave junior school) into a poignant vision of a paradise lost. While economic constraints, school bullies, religious terror and barely-felt sexual longing are present, the accent is on the warmth 11-year-old 'Bud' receives from his family and neighbours. Indeed, it's primarily about the small, innocent but very real joys of being alive, recreated with great skill and never smothered by sentimentality. The stately camera movements; the tableaux-like compositions; the evocative use of music and movie dialogue; the dreamy dissolves and lighting - all make this a movie which takes place in its young protagonist's mind. Beautifully poetic, never contrived or precious, the film dazzles with its stylistic confidence, emotional honesty, terrific wit and all-round audacity.