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Thread: Kes (1969)

  1. #21
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    I don't think Kes is a depressing film, quite the opposite apart from the ending. Which is inevitable, given the nastiness of Billy's brother, and the dopiness of Billy.

    Maybe it needs a Hollywood remake with a happy ending where Kes flies off meets a mate and they have baby kestrels.

  2. #22
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnWD
    I don't think Kes is a depressing film, quite the opposite apart from the ending. Which is inevitable, given the nastiness of Billy's brother, and the dopiness of Billy.

    Maybe it needs a Hollywood remake with a happy ending where Kes flies off meets a mate and they have baby kestrels.
    But that'd still be a sad ending for Billy



    Steve

  3. #23
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    Far from depressing film, in fact quite uplifting at times

  4. #24
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    It was interesting the hear Daniel Day Lewis offer up praise for Kes at a post Oscar party inteview recenly, saying that Kes was the central film that inspired him to get into the acting business. High praise indeed.

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    name='rpsmithbarney']It was interesting the hear Daniel Day Lewis offer up praise for Kes at a post Oscar party inteview recenly, saying that Kes was the central film that inspired him to get into the acting business. High praise indeed.


    Did not know that. Do you have a link to the interview?

  6. #26
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    ...I dont have a link to the interview but there are similar comments on DDL's trivia page on IMDB as follows ...



    "I was very influenced by Ken Loach's work from the moment I saw Kes (1969) when I was a kid. It still remains for me one of the most powerful pieces of work ever. Before that, there was Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), This Sporting Life (1963) and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962), which all expressed a new British social realism. Undoubtedly, they opened up the possibility of examining British life in a new way. That was probably the most important film experience I had."

  7. #27
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    name='rpsmithbarney']...I dont have a link to the interview but there are similar comments on DDL's trivia page on IMDB as follows ...



    "I was very influenced by Ken Loach's work from the moment I saw Kes (1969) when I was a kid. It still remains for me one of the most powerful pieces of work ever. Before that, there was Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), This Sporting Life (1963) and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962), which all expressed a new British social realism. Undoubtedly, they opened up the possibility of examining British life in a new way. That was probably the most important film experience I had."


    Cheers.

  8. #28
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    Hi everyone!



    I am a performing arts student (studying an F.D in Performing Arts) and am currently doing research for my second year dissertation which includes a case study on Kes (and also Billy Elliott) and I would be very greatful if anyone had any information or would like to make a comment regarding the film(s)!



    Just to explain in a bit more detail...my study is based upon the impact that issue based film ('issue' in the social sense) has in regards to bringing about social change. I also wish to investigate if there is a difference between the influences of such films between two time frames, namely the 1960's and 1990 - present day, (the reason for the Kes/Billy Elliott comparison) and the impact each film had as a result.



    I would be tremendously greatful if anyone who can remember the release of either of the above films, went to see them in the cinema etc would care to comment on any of the following questions...



    Did you feel that the issues being addressed were relevant to either yourself or generally to British Society at the time?

    What were the comments people made concerning the film(s) and the issues they addressed, if any?

    Did anything seem to change (e.g. peoples opinions/laws/policies etc) at this time? and do you believe that it was as a result of the film(s) or related organisations?

    Did you enjoy the film? and why?

    Do you believe that issue based films can bring about social change? and why?

    Do you believe that issue based films should be taken more seriously?

    Are there any issues that you believe should be addressed through film? and why?



    Any comments, information and advice would be greatly appreciated!

    However, any comments recieved would not be incorporated into my work in the form of a quote without the permission of the person who sent it! Any comments used following permission would still remain entirely anonymous! The finished work would be seen only by my tutors and the moderation board.



    Thanks!

  9. #29
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    Depressing, but it's a classic social and class commentary. At it's core I feel it's a story about life's destiny based on the class and environment you're born into. Essentially Billy, despite his dreams, cannot escape his destiny. Bleak.



    First saw it at school (in the mid 80s) as we were reading the book, and then got to see the film after. Growing up in Devon, it was probably my first insight into social deprivation and "up north" . Would say it had some influence on my cinematic tastes at the time (probably enhanced by also reading and watching 1984 at school).



    Not a film you watch for fun, but it's an excellent film regardless.



    I can see how many would relate to it, especially in the 70s.





    Now the real question, is whether Kes is the most depressing Ken Loach film?

  10. #30
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadKenny
    Now the real question, is whether Kes is the most depressing Ken Loach film?
    Only if you haven't seen many of his other films



    Although I wouldn't necessarily call Kes or many of his other films "depressing".



    They often paint a bleak portrait of people trapped in unpleasant, seemingly hopeless, situations. But that isn't necessarily depressing.



    For an even more bleak tale of people trapped in a hopeless situation, watch the film he made from another Barry Hines book, The Price of Coal. It was made as a two parter for the BBC's Play for Today series.



    The book is divided into two parts so splitting the film into two parts works very well.



    The first part is about life in the mining community (near Sheffield) as they get ready for a Royal visit to the pit. Lots of people are taken off normal duties to do things to get ready for the visit. They don't actually have to paint the coal white, but it's a lot of things that won't benefit anyone beyond the visit. So there are lots of chances to discuss things in the working men's club; this visit, the way they are treated generally and the nature of Royalty.



    The second part is set soon after the first. They're all back at work and everything is back to normal - when there's an explosion underground and we discover the true Price of Coal.



    Steve

  11. #31
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadKenny
    Depressing, but it's a classic social and class commentary. At it's core I feel it's a story about life's destiny based on the class and environment you're born into. Essentially Billy, despite his dreams, cannot escape his destiny. Bleak.
    Or, Billy's given a chance to escape that bleak future - but he blows it



    Steve

  12. #32
    Senior Member Country: England Owlett's Avatar
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    I remember we were reading the book in my first english class at secondary school, around the time the film was released. I didn't get to go on the class trip to a screening. I do recall the sense of everyone being devastated when our teacher read the close of the final chapter to us '...and he put the little body into the (cigar? shoe?) box'.



    A friend has recently given me a copy of the orginal John Cameron soundtrack on a CD.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook
    Or, Billy's given a chance to escape that bleak future - but he blows it



    Steve
    What chance is Billy given?

  14. #34
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruIrn
    What chance is Billy given?
    The chance to escape and do something different to going down t'pit. The chance to work with birds or just do something, anything, except following Judd



    Steve

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook
    The chance to escape and do something different to going down t'pit. The chance to work with birds or just do something, anything, except following Judd



    Steve
    I don't think it was much of a chance to be fair. Whether Kes had have lived or not it was irrelevant to where Billy ended up. He was only ever going to work darn t'pit. Nowt else for him to do given his lack of skills.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruIrn
    I don't think it was much of a chance to be fair. Whether Kes had have lived or not it was irrelevant to where Billy ended up. He was only ever going to work darn t'pit. Nowt else for him to do given his lack of skills.
    I suppose his only real chance would have been if Mr Farthing [Colin Welland] had been able to push him into gamekeeping.



    A superb film that I recall with great affection as I was at Sheffield University when it was released and had [still have] friends who were from Barnsley.



    Also, it is [or was] Miss Agutter's favourite film

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fellwanderer
    I suppose his only real chance would have been if Mr Farthing [Colin Welland] had been able to push him into gamekeeping.
    Yes, it wasn't much of a chance, but there was a faint chance. They made a bit more of it in the book. And of course Barry Hines did also write "The Gamekeeper"



    Steve

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadKenny
    Depressing, but it's a classic social and class commentary. At it's core I feel it's a story about life's destiny based on the class and environment you're born into. Essentially Billy, despite his dreams, cannot escape his destiny. Bleak.



    First saw it at school (in the mid 80s) as we were reading the book, and then got to see the film after. Growing up in Devon, it was probably my first insight into social deprivation and "up north" . Would say it had some influence on my cinematic tastes at the time (probably enhanced by also reading and watching 1984 at school).



    Not a film you watch for fun, but it's an excellent film regardless.



    I can see how many would relate to it, especially in the 70s.





    Now the real question, is whether Kes is the most depressing Ken Loach film?
    I think I know what your getting at due to its depth and meaning in relation to education, class, poverty, family etc etc But I definately watch it for fun! Its funny, moving, meaningful and you can relate to it.

  19. #39
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    A real classic film from my early childhood - despite the age of it now still great

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by rotovator
    A real classic film from my early childhood - despite the age of it now still great


    This film still makes me cry, but for its age was a brill film

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