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Thread: Kes (1969)

  1. #41
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Last year I showed this to my then fifteen year old son, who has been born and raised in New York City. He has visited family in England on many occasions, but as yet, has never been further north that the Ace Cafe. He really loved it and gained a lot of strength and perspective from it. After, he read the book, which he also loved. I got him a two fingers "Kes" print for Xmas, which has pride of place on his bedroom wall. Great work can transcend time, geography, national and cultural barriers and Kes is surely great work.

  2. #42
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    My wife is American. When we were dating I told he she HAD to see it. She refused to believe it bore any resemblance to real life. There lies symmetry: I refuse to believe Friends etc.

  3. #43
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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
    That's what I think, too. The bird is the chance. The film is about recognizing and siezing what limited chances may come your way, no matter how unlikely it is that you may get such a chance. It's also about the B******s who will kill off your chance for their own selfish or ignorant motives:those who don't want you to succeed because it highlights their failings. The film's subject can be seen as depressing but it absolutely thrills, cheers and inspires me that someone (or a team of people) can capture this obscure and fleeting essential truth and create such a beautiful film. I've loved it since I first saw it on TV in the 70's.

  4. #44
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    KES was so true to life it was a little scary to watch as it actually brought back good and bad memories, the way some of us kids used to live can be a little frightening for some of today's kids.

    My brood don't believe what the lower / working class went through and how we lived, my wife does not even beleive some of my stories. Every Christmas they get the story of "IN MY DAY" but they ignore it as usual and carry on opening their expensive presents.

    KES is gritty and true to life and depicts a bygone age.

  5. #45
    Senior Member Country: UK EHV_Emmetts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moor Larkin
    An iconic image of the 1960's - especially the late 60's.



    As for 'Kes' itself - awful film.

  6. #46
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EHV_Emmetts
    An iconic image of the 1960's - especially the late 60's.



    As for 'Kes' itself - awful film.
    I wouldn't call it a cheerful or a fun film. But I think it's a great story and a very well made film. What do you think is so awful about it?



    Steve

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook
    I wouldn't call it a cheerful or a fun film. But I think it's a great story and a very well made film. What do you think is so awful about it?



    Steve
    I'm perplexed as well as consider it a great film - definitely in my top twenty.



    Still, each to his own

  8. #48
    Senior Member Country: UK EHV_Emmetts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook
    I wouldn't call it a cheerful or a fun film. But I think it's a great story and a very well made film. What do you think is so awful about it?
    Well apart from the woeful acting, clunking script and rough photography, the central conceit of a lad and his kestrel is quite frankly risible.

  9. #49
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EHV_Emmetts
    Well apart from the woeful acting, clunking script and rough photography, the central conceit of a lad and his kestrel is quite frankly risible.
    Ah well, I'll just have to disagree with you about every single one of those points



    I find the actors to be very believable, I think the script is superb, the photography is rough where it's portraying something rough and beautiful where it's portraying something beautiful and I found the central conceit to be eminently believable.



    But as you dislike it so much I'd recommend that you don't watch it any more, not even if someone tries to force you



    Steve

  10. #50
    Senior Member Country: UK EHV_Emmetts's Avatar
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    I think we'll agree to disagree.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by EHV_Emmetts
    Well apart from the woeful acting, clunking script and rough photography, the central conceit of a lad and his kestrel is quite frankly risible.
    Well the photography is done by Chris Menges, I mentioned a film in the Favourite British Film Thread called Babylon that he also worked on and he definitely has an eye for enhancing and capturing difficult moments as well as having an excellent sense of composure with the camera over them - he also isn't too bad at using wide-screen to it's full potential, something you can see more of, in his work on the films The Mission, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada and Local Hero.



    In Kes we are seeing a very early Menges behind the camera it may be a little rough around the edges but it holds much of what is too come and in a way I think I like his camera work in Kes even better because he has not quite honed his skills to perfection but is prepared to experiment more, something that worked very well with the boy actor David Bradley who was a very awkward and sensitive character.



    The direction is in my opinion Loach at his finest - a cast really of nobodies at the time - but Loach gets perfection and power out of them, you can look at this film now and see a part of England that is really not there anymore because it has so much character depth. As a piece of film showing a regions demography and colloquial characteristics it is second to none. I would also struggle to criticise the script - I can tell you now I wish I could clunk like that



    My God what film where you watching - I know people who don't like this because of say it's grim-up-north realism but to say it's script clunks and the characters are woeful is quite beyond me as a bit of social realism it is one of this countries finest achiements in film - sorry but of all the things you mention I just can't even fathom wher you get those notions from - when it's some of our best people in film showing us a truly moving story.



    Simon

  12. #52
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Well EHV it would be adult, world if we all liked the same thing. Sadly in the case of "Kes" I think the loss is yours, many consider it one of the finest British films ever made.

  13. #53
    Senior Member Country: UK EHV_Emmetts's Avatar
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    I seem to be in a distinct minority here - oh well, we can't all agree all of the time on every subject.

  14. #54
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    Pardon my repeating an obvious choice, but my quick search didn't find it in this topic.



    You may be surprised that I saw KES for the first time ever just yesterday. Wow.



    And wow! some more. Ken Loach is often brilliant in later years (LAND AND FREEDOM; WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY) and sometimes annoying (BREAD AND ROSES), but now I know why he's been universally respected for so long.



    KES - I direct this at new viewers like me: is nearly the most perfect film about real people I will ever see. There is hardly a happy moment when more than young Billy (David Bradley) and his kestrel are on screen. Barnsley life isn't all misery, but it is very restricted until Billy finds his kestrel, and she provides a another life for him.



    Sure, one of the best comic sequences, ever, in a British movie is KES' school football exercise, but it has a very bitter tinge.



    The characters are note-perfect, every one. Some are played by non-professionals, but we can't see the difference, because the acting is so right.



    *sigh* When I played our DVD last night, one minute in, Jeannie asked: "Are they speaking English?" Thank goodness for subtitles. Barnsley working-class speech was a brave choice for Loach when he made KES, but severely restricted its commercial appeal.



    A USA cinema release, despite top BAFTA awards and praise at NYC's 1970 Film Festival was delayed for years. One USA movie exec is quoted, as he turned down distribution: "They shoulda made this in Hungarian! More people would understand it."



    Too bad. Barnsley's manner of speech is essential to the characters and their story. I think it is best shown when Billy is challenged, in his classroom, to tell a story.



    Reluctantly at first, he mumbles about his kestrel - but once on the topic, he opens up and is very passionate. "Hee, she's tha' wild, loike, an' thee ne'er can bid her go nor stay. So I says, me'sen, tha got ta be brave, loike, so I walks 'way off wi' her on da post an' she cam to me. Ooh, I thought me'sen, tha's a bluidy daft fool, she'll not do owt again. I set on her on post again, and walked farther off. She cam straight, when I called her, the lass. An' now she's me heart."



    The best British movie ever made, as some critics say? Maybe not, but surely in the first rank.

  15. #55
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    I saw this for the first time about six months ago. A beautiful, heartbreaking film.



    I enjoyed Loach's "Riff Raff" very much, too. Need to see more of his work.

  16. #56
    Senior Member Country: England faginsgirl's Avatar
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    Before I watch it, is it a sad ending? If so I will have to give it a miss I`m afraid.



    xx

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by faginsgirl
    Before I watch it, is it a sad ending? If so I will have to give it a miss I`m afraid.



    xx
    May want to skip this one then.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by faginsgirl
    Before I watch it, is it a sad ending? If so I will have to give it a miss I`m afraid.



    xx
    Certainly won't have you chuckling when you switch off the dvd!

  19. #59
    Senior Member Country: England faginsgirl's Avatar
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    Thanks. I vaugely remember it being on when I was a child, I cant remember much about the end. Maybe I was so distressed I blocked it out



    xx

  20. #60
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    We actually did this film for GCSE at school back in the 90's.

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