Tuesday, 7 June 2016
At HOME with #KenLoach
It was a case of the deckchairs at HOME being in use from dawn to darkness yesterday. I had a brief but happy sojourn on these orange beauties (tangerine is this summer’s in colour so I hear), before we went to hear the inspirational Ken Loach in conversation and then a documentary on his career. It’s frightening how the right wing media have skated and banned him through the years for merely trying to make social dramas of real lives.
As a result he had a barren spell where he was, to his now admitted great shame, driven to make a living from directing adverts and ended up promoting dodgy products such as Nestle’s Caramac chocolate bars and the positively evil McDonalds. (Could you ever work for two more dreadful companies?- the “third world” baby powder milk scandal and the deforestation, obesity, poorly paid workers, animal abuse etc. of McDonald’s).
Anyway, that aside, Kes (A kestrel for a knave) by Barry Hines was the first film by him that I saw, as a youngster, and I will never forget it- the written off school kids whose potential didn’t fit into the rigid educational framework and a kestrel that could fly free was so powerful even to my naïve eyes and ears. The reciting of the shipping forecast when the register was read out was an early radio memory for me too.
The Angel’s Share, a 2012 film set around youth, redemption and Scottish whiskey, was witty and powerful too and Jimmy’s Hut was another of his tales of how the Irish were oppressed by the British. But I need to see more.
The Cannes award-winning film “I, Daniel Blake” is released in November- the Tories retaining power last year brought him out of retirement to make it. Last night the documentary Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach was a great overview and I recommend seeing it. I also want to research the mid 1960s Czech films that inspired Ken and were shown in the documentary- they looked visually exciting with intense close up camera angles on nature and people.