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27.05.2023 - 09:37 / deadline.com
Ken Loach still has more to say against The Man in society with his cinema, that was clear coming away from the Cannes press conference for his latest movie The Old Oak.
We asked Loach if the reports are true; whether The Old Oak is truly his finale. Answered the director, “One day at a time. If you get up in the morning, and you’re not in the obituary column; one day at a time.”
The 87-year old Loach told THR back in April, “realistically, it would be hard to do a feature film again” given that “your facilities do decline. Your short-term memory goes and my eyesight is pretty rubbish now, so it’s quite tricky.”
However, Loach emphasized today how important it is for cinema, especially with the younger filmmakers, to stay vibrant as the artform puts people of power in check.
“It’s not up to the directors and writers if they can make films; now the doors are closing on young people who want to engage with the issues of their time with a political understanding other than simply a social understanding. That’s a big difference because political understanding means you challenge those in power. Why should those in power with the money when their system is failing support films that should challenge them?” exclaimed Loach.
Filmmakers can no longer operate in a safe space to voice their concerns about society per the filmmaker. “That’s the problem,” he said.
“Organizing the opposition is the problem,” said Loach.
Old Oak follows pub owner TJ Ballantyne (Dave Turner) whose venue is located in a deprived north-eastern former mining town. His patrons are mad at life –declining home prices and immigrants– and tensions arrives when a busload of terrified Syrians pull in. TJ makes a bridge to the Syrians, using the pub as a
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Leo Barraclough International Features Editor In “The Old Oak,” which played in Competition in Cannes, Ken Loach portrays a village in the North-East of England where the indigenous white community comes into conflict with Syrian refugees – a conflict fuelled by the despair, deprivation and decline of the rust-belt region. Such conditions can be a seed-bed for far right groups, the director tells Variety. Such issues have not been explored sufficiently in film and television, Loach says, and he draws a parallel with the portrayal of the rise of Nazism in Germany in the mass media. “We have endless programs about the Second World War, about the horrors of Nazism and fascism, about the racism, about the Holocaust. Quite properly, we have endless programs about that, but what they refuse to point out is that that arose from alienation, anger, feeling cheated, and finding scapegoats. And that’s how we ended up with Hitler, and that’s the ground in which the far right flourishes. One of the points of the film is to say: This is the cause of fascism. This is where it comes from. This is its seed-bed, and it comes as an inevitable consequence of our economic system. Because if the neoliberal agenda was an essential development for capitalism, to use the old-fashioned word, then that’s where fascism comes from. Implicit in that is that the far right will rise because that’s how people will be heading. And they know that and yet the mass media, the press, just turn their backs on that. They’ll tell us all about the horrors of Hitler. Sure. But they won’t tell us how he came to power. And that’s the huge lesson. And we see it in essence now all the time.”
The Old Oak will be his last.Speaking at a press conference for his new movie at the Cannes Film Festival, Loach was asked by Deadline whether reports about his retirement are true.“One day at a time,” he responded. “If you get up in the morning, and you’re not in the obituary column; one day at a time.”It comes after he told The Hollywood Reporter last month that “it would be hard to do a feature film again” because “your facilities do decline.”He said: “Films take a couple of years and I’ll be nearly 90,” he said of a potential next movie.
Two films by Arab women directors are sharing the L’Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) prize for the best documentary in Cannes. Four Daughters (Les Filles d’Olfa) by Tunisian filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania and The Mother of All Lies (La Mère de tous les mensonges) by Moroccan filmmaker Asmae El Moudir were announced as the winners at a joint ceremony this morning at the Palais in Cannes.
Owen Gleiberman Chief Film Critic Tommy Joe Ballantyne (Dave Turner), the central character in Ken Loach’s “The Old Oak,” is a middle-aged landlord and proprietor of a pub that sits near the bottom of a sloped street of working-class row houses. We’re in an unnamed village in the northeast of England, and the pub, called the Old Oak, has seen better days. So has Tommy, who’s known as TJ. Dave Turner, the very good actor who plays him, resembles a bone-weary cross between John C. Reilly and Michael Moore. There’s a sweet-souled directness to his sad prole stare, and he treats his customers, some of whom he has known since they were in grade school together, with quiet affection and respect. But the pub is falling apart, and the property values in the neighborhood have plunged. TJ is barely scraping by serving pints of bitters.
By Hanna RantalaCANNES (Reuters) - Ken Loach said on Friday he does not know if "The Old Oak," the 86-year-old British director's attempt to win the Cannes Film Festival's top prize for a third time, would be his last. "Oh, I don't know, I live day by day," said Loach, who turns 87 in June. "If you read the obituary columns and you're not in them, it's a good day.
What could well be Ken Loach’s final film has as much fire and fury as his debut Poor Cow did in 1967, if we discount his pioneering TV work in the run-up. The visual style hasn’t changed a great deal in the years since, but that’s because the British movie veteran, soon to turn 87, isn’t much fussed about surfaces, it’s the inner lives of his characters that he wants to capture. In that respect, The Old Oak would make a fitting swansong, capping the recent North-East trilogy with a vital film that is clearly the work of the team behind previous Cannes Competition hits I, Daniel Blake and Sorry We Missed You.
Only nine directors have ever won the Palme d’Or twice. Francis Ford Coppola did it in the ’70s with The Conversation and Apocalypse Now. Ruben Östlund joined the club last year after following The Square with Triangle of Sadness. But this year, there is a very real possibility that, at 86, Ken Loach may go above and beyond that by winning a third Palme for his new film, The Old Oak. Loach first won in 2006 with the historical Irish drama The Wind That Shakes the Barley, then doubled up in 2016 with I, Daniel Blake, a caustic study of Britain’s healthcare crisis. After that came Sorry, We Missed You, a no-less withering look at the punitive gig economy. Like the latter two films, The Old Oak is set in the North East of England and completes an unofficial trilogy, this time with a slightly more optimistic bent. Like all of Loach’s output since 1996, it was written by Paul Laverty, and the pair sat down with Damon Wise to discuss the film’s themes of humanity and social responsibility.
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Christopher Vourlias On a recent morning in Cannes, Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan sat over coffee at the Hotel Martinez and recalled a phone call he received nearly 60 years ago, not long after he’d made a splash on the British folk scene. On the other end of the line was a rising screenwriter and director called Ken Loach. “He said he was making his first feature…and would I help him with the music?” Donovan told Variety. The film, a kitchen sink drama called “Poor Cow,” based on a novel by British playwright and author Neil Dunn, tells the story of a working-class single mother leading a hard-luck life in the slums of London. It’s a movie that set the tone for the type of social drama that propelled Loach throughout a remarkable, prolific career.
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