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July 2015, Week 3


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 18 Jul 2015 10:18:04 -0700
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*On Ken Loach*

This panel seeks to investigate Ken Loach’s body of film work, both in
terms of production and critical reception.

At first identified as an offspring of the British Kitchen Sink Cinema of
the late 1950s and early 1960s, he claimed that the Czech New Wave was the
main influence on his aesthetic vision, acknowledged the Italian
Neorealists, and politely dismissed Jean-Luc Godard.  Loach’s artistic
vision and method became the target of the journal *Screen*’s criticism.  While
he adopts a form that can be easily understood by the people his films
address, the working class, to tell stories that can be recognized as
accurate and true (Hill 2011, 131), and refuses to make what he calls
elitist films, the “*Screen* perspective” critiques Loach’s stylistic
approach for lacking “a self-conscious, open-ended use of aesthetic devices
that would stimulate a more active relationship with the spectator” (Hill
2011, 130).  Acclaimed as an *auteur*, a label that he rejects, Loach
describes himself as an openly socialist filmmaker who chronicles the lives
of the dispossessed and the marginalized.

His career has been marked by a number of phases: 1) (1967-1971), the
commercial success of *Kes* at the British box office followed by the
commercial failure of *Family Life*, which caused a first crisis and a
return to work in television; 2) (1979-1981), the election of Margaret
Thatcher, which causes a second crisis; 3) (1981-1985), the making of
political documentaries that had very limited distribution and the
subsequent disappearance from the British cinema scene; 4) (1991), the
comeback with *Riff-Raff*; 5) (1995-2000), the remaking of himself as a
European director with noticeable changes in casting decisions and style,
with *Land and Freedom*, *Carla’s Song*, *Bread and Roses*; 6) (1998-2004),
the Scottish period, with *My Name Is Joe*, *Sweet Sixteen*, *Ae Fond Kiss*,
*Tickets, The Angels’ Share*, 7) (2006-2014), The Irish period, with *The
Wind That Shakes the Barley, Jimmy’s Hall.*

Please send a 250-300 word abstract on any of these topics, a bibliography
(5 sources), and a short author bio to Gloria Monti ([log in to unmask])
by 7/30/2015. Decisions will be communicated by 8/10/2015.

Gloria Monti, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
CSUF, Fullerton, CA
[log in to unmask]

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