The Uncle Jack

Director: John T. Davis, Sé Merry Doyle.

More personal and intimate than many of his other works, renowned documentarian John T. Davis dedicates himself here to memorialising his enigmatic Uncle Jack, whose influence on Davis led to his becoming a filmmaker. A leading architect of cinemas in mid-twentieth century Northern Ireland, Jack’s bachelorhood led him to taking Davis under his wing and imparting to him his own austere belief in the need always to be in control. Davis relates how this conviction slowly turned to paranoia and madness, with Jack drifting in and out of institutional care even as his influence drove Davis into his film career/blossomed into Davis’ burgeoning film career. Despite breaking from his usual tone Davis retains his ability to pull captivating imagery and insight together, marrying a personal narrative to a memorialising of Northern Ireland’s cinemas in this illuminating artistic autobiography.

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