Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Great Cinema

I've written here previously about "Kes," a 1969 film by director Ken Loach. Though it's widely considered by the English to be one of their finest films, it's virtually unknown here. For Americans, the heavily-accented working-class English is difficult to understand - in fact, it took me several viewings to understand what was going on. To summarize, "Kes" is the story of a fourteen year old boy living under difficult family and social circumstances in a contemporary (1960's era) mining town. He finds peace in training a Kestral (bird), but even that isn't immune from the harshness that surrounds him.

"Kes" is a beautiful work of cinema, produced at a small budget with a largely non-professional cast. As effective as the script and cinematography, there's a beautiful score, composed by John Cameron, and performed by his quartet. I'm not a musician by any means, but this is a masterpiece of simplicity. I've just ordered the soundtrack, which has only been available since 2002.

Unfortunately, unless you know me and can borrow a copy, Kes is generally unavailable in the United States. You can read about on IMDB here.

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