Friday, February 08, 2008

Ken Loach, a film-director of realism and an artist engagé for British working class .

By Allal El Alaoui
Hollywood movies dominates British cinemas and local film-directors like Ken Loach is not really popular among his citizens cinematically a part from serious cinemagoers who go to watch good cinema in that cultural zone in london called the National Film Theatre .

Ken Loach has remarkable techniques to direct his actors by not showing them the script until the last minute and that the technology of film shooting like lighting , sound and camera should not be felt consciously by these interpreters until something comes out of them, because authencity of reality as Ken Loach states, is hidden somewhere and that actors must reveal it to the audience through their skill and talent .

Film style

Loach's film work is characterised by a particular view of realism; he strives in every area of filmmaking to emphasise genuine interplay between actors, to the point where some scenes in his films appear unscripted. Rather than employing method actors, he prefers unknown talent who have had some of the actual life experience of the characters they portray - so much so that many professional actors aspiring to work with Loach will often pretend to be actual construction labourers or other working class types called for in his script. [2].

For Bread and Roses, he chose two leading actors who had experience of union organizing and life as an immigrant. The lead actress in the film, Pilar Padilla, actually had to learn English in order to play the part.

He tries to make sure that actors express as genuinely as possible the feelings of their characters by filming the story in order and, crucially, not giving the actors the script until a few minutes before the filming. Frequently only some of the actors will know what is going to happen in a scene - the others will often, therefore, be able to express genuine surprise or sadness because they really are affected by the events of the scene.

Two examples: in Kes the boy actor, discovering the dead bird at the end, believed that the director had actually killed the bird that he had become quite close to during the filming (in fact he had used a dead bird found elsewhere). In Raining Stones one of the actresses visited at her house by a loan shark had no idea that he was going to force her to take off her wedding ring and give it to him as part payment. There are many other such examples.

Ken Loach is a strong opponent of censorship within cinema and was outraged at the 18 certificate given to Sweet Sixteen. Loach himself said,
“ I think it was a very silly decision, such a patronising attitude as well. People are rarely hurt by swear words, yet you see scenes of violence depicted in films often with a 12 certificate. Some of these films have violence for the sake of it, try and push the certification boundaries. I think in my films that the violence is necessary to portray realism, it’s important to the narrative. And yes, it does put a smokescreen on society because it uses violence as a source of entertainment rather than its actual meaning.

From wikipedia