revisiting the 9s: hotel rwanda (terry george, 2004)
the 8th annual letterboxd season challenge: 2022-23

kes (ken loach, 1969)

Well, that's depressing. I had finished up writing a few words about Kes, and when I went to save, Typepad freaked out and I lost what I had written. So this is a quickie version.

Kes is an important film that has been on my radar pretty much ever since it came out, yet I hadn't seen it until now. Same with director Ken Loach, highly regarded but I'd never seen any of his movies. Kes is about a young boy, an outsider, who trains a falcon and blossoms in the process. The movie is very clear about the hard life of the lower classes, and Loach uses an almost documentary style in his presentation. This is deepened by his use of mostly non-professional actors. Loach deserves credit for getting natural performances from most of them ... they seem real, but not amateurish. This goes especially for David Bradley, the young boy ... he is excellent, and I like to credit directors when child actors do well.

One interesting point was the accents of the characters, from Barnsley, with a Yorkshire dialect. It's not just me, who often struggles with English accents ... apparently, Loach had a hard time getting the film shown in London because theater owners feared the audience wouldn't understand the dialogue. For the U.S. market, a few scenes were dubbed over with accents more understandable to Americans. I watched the original version, but I admit I had the subtitles turned on throughout. #183 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don't They list of the top 1000 films of all time.


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