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A film-maker gets taken down a peg or two

I rather like the recently-launched magazine of UK current affairs, Standpoint. This item on Ken Loach, the film-maker, is particularly good.

I wish the magazine success and it should give publications such as The Spectator, Prospect and The New Statesman a run for their money.

8 comments to A film-maker gets taken down a peg or two

  • Alisa

    I just looked him up, and found that I haven’t seen any of his films (he does make films, not movies, right?).

  • Kim du Toit

    Fell asleep during Kes, may have seen Poor Cow back in the day (can’t remember, so even if I did, it wasn’t memorable). Other than that, nada.

    Considering that I have favorite directors like others have favorite drinks or meals, it seems unlikely that I’ll look for his pics from here out.

  • smallwit

    Recently launched? It’s been going for about a year. I’ve bought and read almost every issue.

    Full of thought and culture, beautifully produced, not as light and entertaining as the Speccy, but worth buying and NOT throwing away.

  • Robert Scarth

    Hmmm… The Standpoint article is a bit disingenuous. The way it is written makes it sound like Tali Shalom Ezer was prevented from travelling to the festival because she was Israeli. According to Wikipedia this is not the case. The £300 was returned to the Israeli Embassy, and the festival paid the £300 itself. From the Wikipedia entry on Ken Loach:

    “In an open letter to Tali Shalom Ezer, Ken Loach wrote “To be crystal clear: as a film maker you will receive a warm welcome in Edinburgh. You are not censored or rejected.”[9] To his critics, he added later: “The boycott, as anyone who takes the trouble to investigate knows, is aimed at the Israeli state.”"

    I don’t agree with Ken Loach’s boycott of the Israeli state, but it is clear that this was not really censorship of Ms Shalom Ezer.

    I disagree with Standpoint that “The Wind That Shakes The Barley” is a pro-IRA film, and that it portrays “Irish Catholics as desperate, trodden-upon-saints”. One of the main characters is a doctor who chooses to join the IRA when he could quite easily have not – hardly a “desperate” action. The same character later kills one of his life long friends because he passed information to the British – hardly a “saint”.

    I saw the film as a tragedy; about how love for one’s family, friends and country can drive even intelligent, educated people to carry out barbaric acts. But Loach’s genius is that while you are thinking that the characters are acting unreasonably, and unjustly, you rarely lose sympathy with them – I was left with a sense of how fragile our sense of decency is, and I had to ask myself: if I was pushed, and believed myself to be right, would I do such barbaric things?

  • Paul Marks

    I agree that we should not be “disingenuous”, let us be very clear about Ken Loach.

    He is a bigoted Communist who has never allowed the slightest doubt or dissent to enter his work – and would, if he could, utterly exterminate all those who do not agree with him.

    That is the person the cultural establishment honour.

  • Robert Scarth

    Paul – I agree with you about Ken Loach’s political view; I really wish he would just shut up and keep them to himself. But he is an exceptionally talented film director, and to dismiss his films as merely left wing propaganda is to do them a disservice; they are much richer and more interesting than that.

  • Paul Marks

    Robert Scarth.

    You may well be right – I tend to be bigoted when I hear of far left (not moderate left) political people.

    For example, I was never a great admirer of Tom Hanks but I went to see films he was in from time to time. When I heard he backed Al Franken (i.e. ACORN and other Community Activist voter fraud and so on) I decided I would never do that again.

    On K.L. – I have heard that “Kes” is good, but I have never seen the work.

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