Ken Loach, film maker in profile

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The Life Of Filmmaker Ken Loach

Kenneth Charles Loach was born on June 17th of 1936 and became one of the finest English directors of both independent television and film. His films were directed with a distinct socially critical style, and his pieces documenting poverty were superb. In 1969, British Film Industries voted his movie Kes as the 20th century’s 7th greatest British film. He was the 9th filmmaker to receive the Cannes Film Festivals Palme d’Or award twice. 

Ken Loach entered the world in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, and made numerous contributions to the anthology series from the BBC’s Wednesday Play including Cathy Come Home and Up the Junction. He portrayed the conflicts of the working class beautifully. Unfortunately, three of his earliest plays were lost. He worked with Tony Garnett as his producer until the 1970’s ended. He started directing cinema films, and they were well received. 

In the 1970’s and 1980’s Ken Loach’s films were not well distributed, were less successful, and were affected by political censorship. Towards the end of the 1980’s he was earning money by directing Tennent’s Lager television advertisements. He directed a short documentary in 1989 for the British Army, and it was broadcast by the BBC Split Screen. After this period, he started directing theatrical films dealing with Northern Ireland’s political troubles, the Spanish Civil War, and courtroom dramas. 

Ken Loach began directing political dramas including Sweet Sixteen and Bread and Roses during the 2000’s. He examined the janitors strike in Los Angeles, personal relationships, and an interracial love affair. The most commercial film he directed in his later years was Looking for Eric. The film concerned the conversations of a depressed postman with a football player. In 2016, I, Daniel Blake earned him another Palme d’Or. The film received the BAFTA award and was considered an outstanding British film. 

Ken Loach and his lovely wife Lesley reside in their home in Bath. His son Jim Loach followed in his father’s footsteps and entered the field of television and film. A car accident took the life of his younger son when he was early in life. He has three other children, and his daughter, Emma’s husband, is Elliot Levey. 

Ken Loach is a secularist and belonged to the British Humanist Association. He has stated he finds dividing children between schools of different faiths both divisive and pernicious. He has stood by his views for his entire life, was a sensational director with a unique flair, and in 1977 his views caused him to turn down an OBE.