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Loach's Cannes winner not for UK?

KenLoach.jpgKen Loach is claiming that UK cinemas are not taking up his movie The Wind that Shakes the Barley after winning at Cannes. Apparently it's only received thirty orders for prints compared to the massive five hundred in France.

The story from Digital Spy offers no real explanation.

...he said that some critics were "creeping out from under their stones, slagging off a film they've not even seen". He added that more than 300 orders for the film have been made in France and 50 in Ireland. "But in the UK, it's hardly going to be shown," he commented. "Our only hope is if everyone goes in the first week and the exhibitors see the demand."

Well why would people flock to see a movie they have seen or heard nothing of? This is another sign of a Studio messing up the marketing of a movie, idiots.

The good news is that I'm getting to see a screening next Thursday (boss permitting) and it gets a UK release (with those thirty prints) on the 23rd, as you can see on the Watch List down the right hand side of the front page.

Could this all be about the British - Ireland history, or is it really just about poor marketing?



I am leaning more about the poor marketing side of it. But see, even if it won top prize in Cannes its not really something I would want to see.

But even most of my cinephile friends won't go. They know the film, they know about Loach and they know it won the Palme D'Or.

They also know that it's going to be a depressing piece of left-wing soapbox cinema.

What do you mean by "left-wing soapbox"? I mean that's such a generic phrase and means nothing when talking about the movie.

What do you feel in terms of seeing this movie? Why will you not go and see it? Is it because it is about the early war, because you feel it might misrepresent the truth? How?

Heaven forbid that a film director should bother to make films about serious issues that affect ordinary people's lives... What we need is more candy floss movies with tightly written predictable narratives, stereotypical characterisation and juvenille witticisms liberally sprinkled thoughout.

Loach has dedicated his life to making films with great cinematic style. He's passionate about his subject matter and his films pull few punches. We feel for his characters, even when they're unsympathetic, and the issues raised keep us thinking long after the film has finished. To label them as being depressing is bordering facile. His films have moments of real humour but these come out of the subject matter and the experiences of the characters rather than being artificially layered on top of the story to manipulate an audience.

A 'soapbox' suggests a shouted one way communication... Loach's films are far more subtle than this. You are free to criticise them, but do have the forethought to see them first. In a world dominated by a 'fast food' media, it's essential we support film makers that use the art form in a more thought-provoking way...

Well said Peter. Of course Loach is not above criticism. Obviously his films vary in quality and he has had his share of stinkers (Hidden Agenda?). But to condemn a film you haven't seen because of the politics of the filmmaker is frankly pathetic. Loach at his best produces some of the best this country has to offer in filmmaking, and he belongs to a great traditio of social realism - presumably Tim Almond and his 'cinephile' friends would be happier with more Billy Elliots and Calendar Girls?


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