Saturday, January 20, 2007

KES [Ken Loach] 1969

KES is the story of a 15 year old lad Billy Casper, played by a young and superb Billy Bradley. Casper is a fatherless lonely boy who lives in Barnsley a working class town located in Yorkshire, the north of England.

The young boy has a difficult upbringing, under an strict english education environment. His family doesnt helps much either as he is also constantly bullied by his old brother and ignored by his mother [she refeers to Casper as a hopeless case].

KES is the moving story of Casper and his falcon and symbolizes to me a true and beautiful story of hope and freedom, perhaps the only escape from a more than probably 'one way heading' to the pits.

The direction of Ken Loach is masterful and the spirit and sensitivity of this film is beyond words.
Although we could classify KES as a docu-drama, the film features some hilarious bits like the Football sequence or the library one.


KES is also made by non professional and local residents actors but Loach didnt miss any little detail on the film. Like for example if you notice the size in Casper clothes, you can tell they are either from a charity shop or given from his old brothers.

A spark of hope

Ken Loach has a special ability to show the struggle of the ordinary working people. On terms of the accurate portray of south Yorkshire working class life, KES was ahead of its time.

As well as Barnsley many other Villages in the north of England suffered the collapse of the industry during the devastating Thatcherian times few years after.

I visited Barnsley last year to get a Tattoo done in my friend Nigel Kurt 'Funhouse' studio. He adviced me to get maps and make sure to check the right directions before hand, because if I ever had to ask someone in there I would make it even worst.

And how right he was!

The York english accent and broad local colloquialism is preserved in the whole film's dialogue and it gets very hard to understand at some parts , even for me considering I ve lived in Whitefield and Radcliffe [North Manchester] for a while.

Never thought it could get harder than that, so I had to watch some parts of the film over and over again.

Land and Freedom-Ken Loach 1995

KES was one of first Loach films in 1969, although he did 'Golden Vision' for the BBC and 'Cathy Come Home' some time before.

There are other Ken Loach films I have seen like:

'Land and freedom', 'Bread and roses', 'Sweet sixteen', 'Carla's song' 'Raining stones' or 'The wind that shakes the Barley'.

Oh, and last but not least, KES soundtrack cant get any better.
Football memorable sequence

Some Links

Ken Loach biography


Nigel Kurt 'Funhouse' studio in Barnsley

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