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  • Terence Davies, A Quiet Passion, 2016, 4K video, color, sound, 126 minutes. Emily Dickinson (Cynthia Nixon).

    Terence Davies’s A Quiet Passion

    “BIOGRAPHY FIRST CONVINCES us of the fleeing of the Biographied,” Emily Dickinson once observed. She might well have been talking about herself, for she’s the elusive subject par excellence. We know almost nothing about her. She died relatively young, at the age of fifty-five, and for the last decades of her life chose not to venture outside of Amherst, Massachusetts, or for that matter beyond the confines of her family’s property. She published only a handful of poems, and we’re not sure why she shunned, if she really did, the fame she often mentioned in her verse. (“Fame is a bee”; “