This year, Ken Loach will celebrate his 80th birthday.
He’s also just come out of retirement, to release his ‘last’ film I, Daniel Blake. This film is set to premiere at Cannes Film Festival this Friday.
And, oh wait, its also the 50th anniversary of his seminal 1966 film, Cathy Come Home.
And his film Poor Cow is being re-released.
Most importantly (we think anyway), Dogwoof is releasing a retrospective-style feature length documentary about Ken Loach - Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach. We think it is safe to say that this is 'The Year of Ken Loach.'
Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach is a funny, provocative and revealing account of the life and career of one of Britain’s foremost filmmakers, Ken Loach, as he turns eighty and looks back at over fifty years of filmmaking.
Loach was recruited as a television director for the BBC in 1963, launching a remarkable career for television and cinema which includes Cathy Come Home, Kes, Land and Freedom. For the Wind That Shakes the Barley, Loach received a Palme d’Or and star of the film Cillian Murphy shares his thoughts on the director in Versus.
Throughout his directing career, Loach’s enduring commitment to socialism lead him to show the world as it ‘actually is’ through social realist directing (he says the Conservatives coming back to power made him come out of retirement).
In so-doing, he pioneered the representing of the working class in film and television. His films explore labour rights and homelessness in Cathy Comes Home.
He is known for casting unknown actors with no experience in order to create a realistic feel to his films. Fundamentally, he searched to bring out the humanity of his actors.
In Versus friends of Loach describe him as ‘unchanging, uncompromising, fiercely loyal’. He has a ‘quiet power’, they say. This year, we celebrate him as LOUDLY as we can.
Versus will be released on the 3rd June, and on 5 June we are hosting a series of special Pay-What-You-Can screenings in the spirit of Ken Loach! Learn more on versusfilm.com