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by Ben Travers

17 Apr 2013

My Name is Joe should be remembered for a few things. It’s touching story. The stalwart direction of Ken Loach.  The cold, dark, and straight-forward visual palette befitting its blue collar central character. Most of all, though, it should be remembered for Peter Mullan’s tragic turn as the titular Joe.

Mullan embodies Joe and all of his contradictory traits from the get go. The film begins with an AA meeting where Joe is recounting his story to the group. He starts by discussing his initial feelings of denial regarding his condition, and as an audience we’re not sure where we are just yet. As he comes around to reality, so do we. He pushes past his denial into admission without much of a reason for the transition, and we realize he’s in a meeting talking to people just like him.

by Ben Travers

17 Apr 2013

Perhaps Ken Loach’s most well known film, the 2006 international hit The Wind That Shakes the Barley could also be seen as his most ambitious. Set during the Irish War of Independence and then the Irish Civil War, Loach’s film is an unequivocally substantial story for locals and foreigners alike. There are gunfights, high-level government meetings, and plenty of other sets, characters, and actions that many would picture requiring a big budget.

Yet the director known for his hard-and-fast shooting style keeps his methods intact, and the picture benefits all the more from his approach. It helps that Paul Laverty’s touching script focuses on two brothers who become fed up with the crown’s oppression. Laverty and Loach, long-term collaborators who the latter described as “filmmakers” above all else, find the intimate parts of the story and maximize them in a way that conveys both the national and familial consequences.

by Ben Travers

16 Apr 2013

(l-r) Ken Loach, Paul Laverty. Photo by
Joss Barratt, Courtesy of Sundance Selects.

The Angels’ Share blends many serious issues with fantastical, mythical elements. Do you always plan for it to be lighter than your other works, or did it come about through the writing?

Paul Laverty: That was a great challenge. It was a difficulty trying to make it seamless. You’ve got to try to plan that and think it out very carefully. The film before was a very tough tragedy. Lives fell apart. It was a very dark, dark tragedy. You’ve always got to be truthful to the premise of the story.

by Jose Solis

15 Apr 2013

For decades, Ken Loach has remained one of the most politically-minded filmmakers; his films themselves, almost never deal specifically with politics, but the characters in question, are always affected by social inequity, therefore turning his movies into heartfelt, but objective, socio political essays.

Trying to peg what is it that makes a Ken Loach movie, “a Ken Loach movie” is quite hard, given that he never relies on stylistic choices to help us determine his auteurship. Yet, once we’re watching the action unfold, the characters evolve in front of us and the plot take a turn towards the bittersweet, we know it…this is why The Angel’s Share feels so confusing at first. 

Loach’s movies are never really funny, but there is a deep humanism in them that unavoidably leads to moments that make us laugh. The Angel’s Share in fact begins like most of his movies: we meet a down on his luck man named Robbie (Paul Brannigan), who on the very first scene gets sentenced to providing hours of community service for a small crime.

by Matt Mazur

8 Apr 2013

Ewan McGregor not being nominated for an Oscar is a most curious case given that he just seems to get better and better as the years go by. High profile projects with high profile directors? Check. Big name co-stars? Check. High grosses? Check. Art house cred? Check. Affable and good-looking. For sure. Bonus actorly-cred points for being a Brit? Yes. What has gone so terribly wrong in this world that McGregor has, to date, not once been nominated for an Oscar? Ewan has done it all right, yet Oscar has done him so wrong.

Today we explore this terrible reality of a nominationless Ewan McGregor, who by Statuesque’s count should have a whopping, staggering total of seven career nominations from the Academy and we think two wins, but probably not for the roles you’d think…

//Mixed media


Stevie Wonder Takes a Knee as Green Day and Others Also Speak Out at Global Citizen Festival

// Notes from the Road

"The 2017 Global Citizen Festival's message for social action was amplified by Stevie Wonder and many other incredible performers and notable guests.

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