Ken Loach

Typist, Director, Documentarian
Like the Italian neo-realists (especially Vittorio De Sica) who served as his inspiration, Ken Loach has acquired a reputation as the leading socially conscious director working in Britain. A quiet, soft-spoken man, he ... Read more »
Born: 06/16/1936 in Warwickshire, England, GB

Filmography

Director (30)

Jimmy's Hall 2015 (Movie)

(Director)

These Times 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

The Angels' Share 2013 (Movie)

(Director)

The Spirit of '45 2013 (Movie)

(Director)

Looking For Eric 2010 (Movie)

(Director)

Route Irish 2010 (Movie)

(Director)

It's a Free World... 2008 (Movie)

(Director)

Chacun son cinema 2007 (Movie)

("Happy Ending") (Director)

The Wind That Shakes the Barley 2007 (Movie)

(Director)

McLibel 2005 (Movie)

Dramatic Segments Director (Segment Director)

Tickets 2005 (Movie)

(Episode 3) (Director)

A Fond Kiss 2004 (Movie)

(Director)

September 11 2003 (Movie)

(Episode 6) (Director)

Sweet Sixteen 2003 (Movie)

(Director)

The Navigators 2003 (Movie)

(Director)

Bread and Roses 2001 (Movie)

(Director)

My Name Is Joe 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

Carla's Song 1998 (Movie)

(Director)

Land and Freedom 1996 (Movie)

(Director)

Ladybird, Ladybird 1994 (Movie)

(Director)

Raining Stones 1994 (Movie)

(Director)

Riff Raff 1993 (Movie)

(Director)

Hidden Agenda 1990 (Movie)

(Director)

Looks and Smiles 1981 (Movie)

(Director)

Black Jack 1979 (Movie)

(Director)

Family Life 1971 (Movie)

(Director)

Kes 1970 (Movie)

(Director)

Poor Cow 1968 (Movie)

(Director)

Riff-Raff (Movie)

(Director)

The Gamekeeper (Movie)

(Director)
Writer (7)

The Spirit of '45 2013 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Black Jack 1979 (Movie)

adaptation (Writer (adaptation))

Black Jack 1979 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Kes 1970 (Movie)

adaptation (Writer (adaptation))

Kes 1970 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Poor Cow 1968 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Gamekeeper (Movie)

(Screenwriter)
Actor (4)

Great Directors 2010 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

40X15: Forty Years of the Directors' Fortnight 2007 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Je T'aime...Moi Non Plus 2004 (Movie)

(Actor)

Citizen Ken Loach 1996 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)
Producer (2)

These Times 2014 (Movie)

(Producer)

Looking For Eric 2010 (Movie)

(Producer)
Other (1)

Fatherland 1988 (Movie)

Ken Loach (Other)

Biography

Like the Italian neo-realists (especially Vittorio De Sica) who served as his inspiration, Ken Loach has acquired a reputation as the leading socially conscious director working in Britain. A quiet, soft-spoken man, he hardly seems the "dean of leftist movie makers" (as he was dubbed by THE NEW YORK TIMES in June 1998). The son of a working-class factory worker, Loach served in the Royal Air Force, studied law and then worked in theater, first as an understudy and later touring Birmingham in a repertory company. To make end meet, he picked up work as a teacher.

Relationships

Lesley Loach

Wife

Vivien Loach

Mother

John Loach

Father
employed by maintenance shop of a machine tool factory

EDUCATION

University of Oxford

Oxford , England 1957 - 1960
president of Experimental Theatre Club

studied with the BBC Drama Services in the early 1960s

Milestones

2006

Helmed "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" about two brothers who join the guerrilla armies formed to battle the British during the Irish Civil War in 1919; won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival

2004

Directed "Ae Fond Kiss" about tension that arises when a young Asian man enters into a relationship with a Caucasian woman

2002

Directed the film "Sweet Sixteen" about a boy determined to have a normal family life once his mother gets out of prison

2001

Helmed "The Navigators"; screened at Venice International Film Festival; scheduled to air on Channel 4 in November

2000

Third collaboration with Laverty, "Bread and Roses"

1998

Second film with Laverty, "My Name Is Joe"; shown at the Cannes Film Festival

1997

Subject of the documentary, "Citizen Ken Loach", directed by Karim Dridi

1996

Initial collaboration with screenwriter Paul Laverty, "Carla's Song" (released in the USA in 1998)

1995

Directed "Land and Freedom"

1991

First of three successive films centered on working-class characters "Riff-Raff"; also first collaboration with actor Robert Carlyle (released in the USA in 1993)

1990

First feature in four years, "Hidden Agenda", about American human rights activists investigating abuses in Belfast

1984

"Questions of Leadership", his four-part TV documentary on the trade-union movement was never broadcast

1979

Wrote and directed the feature "Black Jack", about an 18th Century highwayman

1975

Helmed the multi-part British TV series "Days of Hope"

1970

Made the semi-documentary "The Rank and File", about a stike by glassworkers

1968

Directed film, "Kes", in first collaboration with writer Barry Hines (released in USA 1970)

1966

Won widespread attention for the documentary-like TV drama "Cathy Come Home"

1965

First film for television, "Up the Junction" directed with Tony Garnett

1962

First TV series directing experience, "Z-Cars", for the BBC

1961

Joined BBC as trainee TV director

Was a performer and director with a repertory company in Birmingham

Served two years in Royal Air Force as a typist

Directed an assortment of stage productions

Worked primarily in television during the 1980s, directing only two features, "Looks and Smiles" (1981) and "Fatherland/Singing the Blues in Red" (1986; released in the USA in 1988)

Professional debut as comedian's understudy in a revue

Worked intermittently as a teacher

Bonus Trivia

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"If one had to choose a battleground, making films is the most effective one." --Ken Loach in the press kit for "Fatherland/Singing the Blues in Red

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"I discovered through the work and humour of the people I met at the time, the strength of working people, which my education had made me immune to. You set academic hurdles and tend to forget where you came from. When you get a little more mature you begin to realize your real loyalties and the real strength of your upbringing." --Ken Loach

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Of Garnett and Loach's technique, "they consciously set out to redefine the content of the material which was customarily slotted into either 'drama' or 'documentary feature.' They ended by forging a dazzling weapon of persuasion by simply effacing the traditional separation between these categories so that it was difficult to be sure which it was that one was viewing. . . . Ideally, they wanted their programmes to be indistinguishable from the items on the television news which preceded them." --Alexander Walker quoted in "World Film Directors, Volume 2"

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On the term docudrama: "It's a kind of strange word. It was never a word we used. In the 60s, television drama was very theatrical. It was very much about doing a stage play in a television studio and filming it with electronic cameras. It was very stagey. And what our group tried to do was switch to 16mm, take the camera out on the streets and make drama [there]. That became known as 'docudrama', God help us! But it was never the intention to invent a word for it. It was just to try to put a bit of life into what had become a very kind of moribund form." --Ken Loach, June 1998

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About the lack of financing for his films in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Loach told THE NEW YORK TIMES (June 14, 1998): "If the British movie industry at the time had any perception of what I did, it was that I made films in an impenetrable dialect, driven by a kind of hard-line Marxist view, which no one would want to see. And, if they did want to see them, they wouldn't understand them anyway."

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