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Ken Loach @ 75

David Hudson

Even as he turns 75 today, Ken Loach carries on working. The BBC spotted him just the other day shooting in a Scottish distillery; his next project, The Angels' Share, is evidently "about a troublemaker given one last chance to stay out of jail and stars newcomer Paul Brannigan, 24, from Glasgow."

In the clip above, Loach recalls taking Kes to Critics' Week in Cannes in 1970; the video is one of several you can see in the Garage, presented as part of our celebration of the 50th anniversary of La Semaine de la Critique. Mike Robins in Senses of Cinema: "The dark and moving story of a Barnsley boy who trains a kestrel in order to escape his problems of family and school remains a gripping masterpiece. Kes also signals a key advance in Loach’s stylistic development. Eschewing the handheld camera, jump cuts, and abrupt sound cues characteristic of the BBC films, Loach adopts a natural, yet controlled visual style that would typify the remainder of his career."

In May 2010, Loach told Tom Lamont about the films that have influenced him most: Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves (1948), Milos Forman's Loves of a Blonde (1965) and Gillo Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers (1966). And here's more on Loach in the Guardian.

Alan Morrison introduces a BFI Gallery of stills and posters with accompanying commentary by Loach. And Screenonline's biography is laced with links to its pages on the individual films: "It is no accident that his best work has been produced at times of supposed affluence, in the mid 60s and the 90s, when he has often been a lone voice, bravely and resolutely standing up for the disadvantaged and the downtrodden. Few directors have been as consistent in their themes and their filmic style, or as principled in their politics, as Loach has in a career spanning five decades. Without doubt he is Britain's foremost political filmmaker."

Birthday salutes in the German press: Michael Hanisch (Film Dienst) and Daniel Kothenschulte (Berliner Zeitung). For news and tips throughout the day every day, follow @thedailyMUBI on Twitter and/or the RSS feed.


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