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Ken Loach
Director / Screenwriter
1936 -
Born June 17, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England
Key Production Countries: UK, Spain, Germany, Italy, France
Key Genres: Drama, Family Drama, Social Problem Film, Urban Drama
Key Collaborators: Jonathan Morris (Editor), Barry Ackroyd (Cinematographer), Martin Johnson (Production Designer), Rebecca O'Brien (Producer), George Fenton (Composer), Paul Laverty (Screenwriter), Fergus Clegg (Production Designer), Tony Garnett (Producer/Screenwriter), Sally Hibbin (Producer), Jim Allen (Screenwriter)

Recommended: Kes (1969)*, Family Life (1971), Ladybird, Ladybird (1994), Land and Freedom (1995), Sweet Sixteen (2002), Ae Fond Kiss... (2004)
Worth a Look: Up the Junction (1965), Poor Cow (1967), Hidden Agenda (1990), Riff-Raff (1990), My Name is Joe (1998), The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006), It's a Free World... (2007), Looking for Eric (2009)
Approach with Caution: Looks and Smiles (1981), Raining Stones (1993), Bread and Roses (2000), Tickets (2005) [co-directed by Abbas Kiarostami & Ermanno Olmi], The Angels' Share (2012)
* Listed in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films section.

Links: [ Amazon ] [ IMDB ] [ TCMDB ] [ All-Movie Guide ] [ Senses of Cinema: Great Directors ] [ Film Reference ] [ Wikipedia ] [ Films on YouTube ] [ Ken Loach Profile ] [ 1998 Guardian Interview ] [ Time Out Interview (2006) ] [ Screen Online Biography ] [ Time Out Interview (2007) ] [ Jump Cut Article ] [ Guardian Articles ]
Books: [ Ken Loach: The Politics of Film and Television ] [ The Cinema of Ken Loach ] [ Agent of Challenge and Defiance: The Films of Ken Loach ] [ Loach on Loach ] [ Loach and Leigh, Ltd.: The Cinema of Social Conscience ]
Kes (1969)Ae Fond Kiss... (2004)Sweet Sixteen (2002)Family Life (1971)
  "Loach has remained steadfastly attentive to working-class experience - to such an extent that some of his films have had (or needed) "English" subtitles when released in America... For me, it is easier to respect Loach than enjoy him: he seldom has the bite of Alan Clarke, for instance. But in his dedication and seriousness, he is an exemplary figure. Even in the insane prosperity of the nineties, Loach pursued his destiny, and he grew gentler, subtler, and funnier. It was one of the most impressive developments in a filmmaker." - David Thomson (The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, 2002)  
  "Ken Loach is considered one of the elder statesmen of the British film industry. This has not, however, blunted his ongoing commitment to bringing social and political issues to the screen. A socialist, Loach has built a reputation for making films that offer a sympathetic, and yet unpatronizing, view of the lives of Britain's working class." - Andy Willis (501 Movie Directors: A Comprehensive Guide to the Greatest Filmmakers, 2007)  
  "When discussing Ken Loach's aesthetic, critics can't avoid using words like gritty and realistic. Loach exhibits a personal modesty which is translated into his directorial style, a self-effacing cinéma vérité approach. However, there are some distinctive characteristics in his work, such as his concerns with the family unit and his ability to capture the flavour and timbre of previously undocumented lives and communities." - Lloyd Hughes (The Rough Guide to Film, 2007)  
  "On television and in the cinema, Loach has contributed realistic dramas which speak passionately of social issues, yet do not demean the humanity of their characters." - William R. Meyer (The Film Buff's Catalog, 1978)  
  "A movie isn't a political movement, a party or even an article. It's just a film. At best it can add its voice to public outrage." - Ken Loach  
  "I turned down the OBE because it's not a club you want to join when you look at the villains who've got it. It's all the things I think are despicable: patronage, deferring to the monarchy and the name of the British Empire, which is a monument of exploitation and conquest." - Ken Loach  
Please note that the rating given for this director (see top-right) is based only on the films we have seen (listed above). Films by this director that we haven't seen include The Gamekeeper (1980), Carla's Song (1996), The Navigators (2001), and Route Irish (2010).

"Ken Loach is not only Britain’s most political filmmaker, he is also its most censored—and the two are not entirely unconnected. Loach’s career illustrates all too clearly the immense difficulties facing the radical filmmaker in Britain today: the broadcasting organisations’ position within the state makes them extraordinarily sensitive sites from which to tackle certain fundamental political questions (about labour relations, ‘‘national security,’’ or Northern Ireland, for example), while the film industry, though less subject to political interference and self- censorship, simply finds Loach’s projects too ‘‘uncommercial,’’ thanks to its habitually poverty-stricken state... As Ken Loach ages, his films remain consistently provocative and politically savvy, with a deep respect for and understanding of his struggling, working class characters." - Julian Petley (updated by Rob Edelman), International Dictionary of Film and Filmmakers

Top 250 Directors
Telegraph's Top 21 British Directors of All Time
501 Movie Directors: A Comprehensive Guide to the Greatest Filmmakers
See Also
Alan Clarke
Vittorio De Sica
Bill Forsyth
Stephen Frears
Paul Greengrass
Neil Jordan
Mike Leigh
Shane Meadows
Karel Reisz
Tony Richardson
Jim Sheridan
Michael Winterbottom
Ken Loach's Favourites
The Battle of Algiers (1965) Gillo Pontecorvo, Bicycle Thieves (1948 Vittorio De Sica, Closely Watched Trains (1966) Jirí Menzel, Loves of a Blonde (1965 Milos Forman, La Promesse (1996) Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne Dardenne, The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978) Ermanno Olmi. Source: Facets (2008)


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