All entries for Sunday 30 December 2007

December 30, 2007

The Wind That shakes the Barley

The Wind That Shakes the Barley. 2006. dir Ken Loach

(Palm d'Or Winner, Cannes Film Festival 2006)

Currently there has been no time to give the film a proper review however interested visitors can follow the links below. From the perspective of  contemproary British cinema winning the Palme d'Or at Cannes is highly prestigious and very unusual for a low budget left-wing fim maker. 



The top 20 UK films grossed £151 million at the box office in 2006 with Casino Royale, The Da Vinci Code, Flushed Away, The Queen, Stormbreaker, Children of Men, The History Boys and The Wind that Shakes the Barley the most popular. The latter proved to be Ken Loach’s most successful film to date whilst also picking up the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival. (My emphasis, cited in Screen South film Report for 2006)




Webliography 

Sweet Sixteen: The Wind That Shakes the Barley  . This site is part of the Ken loach production team and provides a wealth of information about the film and is a good first port of call

BBC Ken Loach interview (Trailer also viewable) 

BBC news report on Ken Loach winning the Palm d'Or at Cannes

Guardian review of Wind That Shakes the Barley

Open Democracy site. Historian Stephen Howe cast an analytical eye upon The Wind That Shakes the Barley

Daily Telegraph Review of The Wind That Shakes the Barley

Wikipedia on the original song "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" inspiring the film.

Wikipedia on the Ken Loach film The Wind That Shakes the Barley




Film Availability :      Wind That Shakes the Barley DVD Cover




RETURN TO BRITISH DIRECTORS HUB PAGE 



It's A Free World,2007: Dir: Ken Loach


It's a Free World. 2007. Dir Ken Loach

(See also the Kinoeye Reference Section: Globalisation

Introduction

This entry is currently going to be limited to being a webliography rather than a full critique and analysis. It is part of an ongoing analysis of contemporary British cinema and its responses to the processes of globalisation and diaspora which are a major feature of contemporary networked society. As such it is cross linked to this entry: Contemporary British Cinema: Representing the World Locally

It's a Free World (2007)

From the persepctive of the successes of British cinema and the importance of their film makers this is a prize winning film gaining an important award at the prestigious Venice Film Festival of Best Screenplay, Venice Film Festival 2007 as well as Best Film, Seville Film Festival 2007. Yet again the British cinematic system prefers to recognise profits rather then prophets so this did not appear in a multiplex near you despite the accolades.

The film has a title which is steeped in irony for what it is seeking to do is to represent at the level of the individuals who play their part how these parts link up to the wider scheme of things. The fact that Angie and her mate Rose don't have any form of secure work to go to as a matter of providing for everyday existence means they need to become entrepreneurial. when you have nothing behind you in terms of financial or cultural capital (a combination of education and contacts to work with) then people become attracted to  the 'cowboy', 'shadow', 'underground' or 'black' economy. Angie and Rose establish a recruitment agency for migrant workers, who come to Britain because conditions have become so bad for them in their original countries of residence. combined with the entrepreneurs who are a bit further up the scale actually providing the underpaid and deperate conditions in which the migrants get recruited into form the other link in the equation. The migrants form an essential part of what Marx called the 'reserve army of labour' and what Loach is doing here is introducing audiences to this palpable aspect of globalisation.  

Success abroad and straight to DVD in the UK

As is frequently the case this British film received accolades at a prestigious film festival however because of the distribution and exhibition in the UK being so weighted against more independent films this film was distributed differently.  

"Osella" for Paul Laverty at Venice Film Festival:
"It's a Free World" wins "Best Screenplay"

(Sept. 9th 2007) Paul Laverty won the "Osella" for the Best Screenplay for "It's a Free World" (directed by Ken Loach) at this year's Venice Film Festival. Besides the drama was awarded with a EIUC Human Rights Film Award and got a special mention a the Signis Awards.

Trailer in Italian available here

Review from Amanda Palmer of It's a Free World as part of a film review programme from Al Jazeera

Production Credits

Director: Ken Loach

Producer: Rebecca O'Brien

Screenplay by: Paul Laverty

Music by: George Fenton

Cinematography by: Nigel Willoughby

Editor: Jonathan Morris

Production Design: Fergus Clegg


Cast 

Angie: Kierston Wareing

Rose:  Juliet Ellis

Karol:  Leslaw Zurek

Geoff (Angie's father) : Colin Caughlin

Jamie: Joe Siffleet

Webliography for It's a Free World

The Sweet Sixteen Website It's a Free World This website is a core resource for anybody interested in or studying the cinema of Ken Loach. Not only does it provide details of the film but in depth production note, external links and extracts of interviews form the actors are included. 

Observer report on It's a Free World

Socialist worker interview with Ken Loach about Its a Free World

European Films.Net Review of It's a Free World

Reuters Report on It's a Free World 

A different Reuters Report on It's a Free World

Guardian interview with Loach and Laverty at the Southbank

Independent Review of It's a Free World

Fujifilm PDF on Its a Free World. (Excellent images on this)

Loach makes union workers aware of wider issues attending screening for Unison branch 

Webliography for Migrant Labour conditions in Britain 

May 08/2008: "Gangmaster Stripped of License". The BBC reports on real life exploitation of Polish workers. Loach is not exaggerating!! 

New evidence of 'bonded labour'

BBC Video on migrant labour conditions:

RETURN TO BRITISH DIRECTORS HUB PAGE 


Ludwig,1973. Dir: Luchino Visconti

Ludwig,1973, Italy. dir Luchino Visconti

Introduction

This magnificent film has recently been released in its four hour original version on DVD. There is currently no time available to write a proper article on the film which is on the never ending 'to do' list. This entry thus constitutes a search of Google at the end of 2007 down to page 25 for good quality entries on Visconti's Ludwig. As with many of his other films there is a remarkable paucity of useful material. Thankfully the Google project of being able to view parts of books online has come to the rescue with the entry from Henry Bacon's book on Visconti: Explorations of Beauty and Decay being a must. For those serious about their Visconti it should be bought anyway!

For now this  entry will function as a small hub for those intersted in following up this film.

Return to main Visconti hub page

Credits

  • Director: Luchino Visconti
  • Script: Suso Cecchi d'Amico, Enrico Medioli, Luchino Visconti
  • Photo: Armando Nannuzzi
  • Music: Jacques Offenbach, Robert Schumann, Richard Wagner
  • Cast: Helmut Berger (Ludwig), Trevor Howard (Richard Wagner), Silvana Mangano (Cosima Von Buelow), Romy Schneider (Elisabeth of Austria), Gert Fröbe (Father Hoffmann), Helmut Griem (Count Duerckheim), Izabella Telezynska (Queen Mother), Umberto Orsini (Count Von Holstein), John Moulder-Brown (Prince Otto), Sonia Petrovna (Sophie), Folker Bohnet (Joseph Kainz), Heinz Moog (Professor Gudden), Adriana Asti (Lila Von Buliowski), Marc Porel (Richard Hornig), Nora Ricci (Countess Ida Ferenczy), Mark Burns (Hans Von Buelow), Maurizio Bonuglia (Mayor)
  • Country: France
  • Language: French
  • Runtime: 245 min

Webliography 

Google look at Bacon's Visconti Explorations of Beauty and Decay. (This should be the first stop for those seriously intersted in Visconti). 

Cecchi D'amico Visconti's main screenwriter 

Ludwig as Gesamstkunstwerk

Romy Schneider: Wikipedia

Romy Schneider: Films de France 

Ludwig as Gesamtkusntwerk: Afterimage,  Jan-Feb, 2004  by Sven Lutticken
BFI Death Becomes Visconti Sight and Sound article.

Google viewable extract from Neurological Disorders in Famous Artists

Google viewable extract from Bondanella's Italian Cinema

Visconti and Fellini: From Left Social Neorealism to Right-Hemisphere Stroke PDF

Google viewable extract of the Culture of Queers by Richard Dyer

BFI Biography of Visconti

Film Availability :       Ludwig DVD Cover

Ludwig is available from MovieMail here.  



Facebook: Galvanising the Power of Consumer Advocacy

Power of Facebook affects law

Internet law professor Michael Geist looks at how Facebook has the power to affect legislation.

(Michael Geist holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law.)

In this story Geist tells of how a concern he posted on Facebook about proposals to changes in copyright law to a few friends rapidly galvanised tens of thousands into action. Here he argues that this is perhaps the most important issue to takeaway from 2007 which has definitely been Facebook's year in terms of profile on the internet.   


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