This interview with Ken Loach took place in July 2009 at his home in Bath, England. Unquestionably one of Britain's most important filmmakers, Loach is best known for his gritty and compassionate portrayals of working-class life. Early in his career, a series of socially conscious films established the fact that Loach was both a skillful artist and a crusading social critic. Cathy Come Home (1966) was one of his most successful early efforts. Loach's films can be divided into two broad categories—intimate family dramas that illuminate the politics of everyday life and more militant films determined to skewer both the forces of political reactionism and the reformist wing of the labor movement. The first category is best personified by the now classic Kes (1969), while The Big Flame (1969) typifies the more didactic strand in Loach's work. Ironically enough, the Thatcher-Major era, usually considered the most dismal epoch of the twentieth century by British radicals, engendered Loach's most productive and artistically satisfying period, during which he produced a series of award-winning feature films: Riff-Raff (1990), Raining Stones (1993), and Ladybird, Ladybird (1994). With his no-frills visual style and lean, sequential narratives, Loach is not out to impress anyone with technique. Another defining trait in Loach's oeuvre is that he often casts unknowns and nonprofessionals for leading roles. In his conversation with Bert Cardullo, the director discusses this aspect of his work as well as many others, including artistic influences, politics, cinematography, script-writing, and artistic collaboration.
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Bert Cardullo; A Cinema of Social Conscience: An Interview with Ken Loach. the minnesota review 1 May 2011; 2011 (76): 81–96. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00265667-1222065
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