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Ken Loach Says ‘The Old Oak’ Likely to be His Final Feature Film (Exclusive)


That’s what Ken Loach said The old oak, his latest feature film, will be his last. Probably.

Speak against The Hollywood Reporter Ahead of what will mark his 15th film premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, the veteran filmmaker, who turns 87 in June, acknowledged that “it would realistically be difficult to make another feature film.

“Movies take a few years and I’m almost 90,” he said. “And your facilities are declining. Your short term memory is going down and my eyesight is pretty crappy right now so it’s kind of tricky.

Loach said that while he had little problem with it The old oak coping with the physical demands of long hours required during production, it has become more difficult to maintain, “in good spirits”, the “nervous emotional energy” he needs to set the pace during a shoot and to maintain that momentum.

Loach, of course, has “retired” before. When he brought Jimmy’s room to the Cannes competition in 2014, he announced it would be his last film. But the Conservative government election in 2015 and the ensuing cuts to social benefits prompted him to step back behind the camera for 2016. I, Daniel Blake. The film, a powerful attack on the British benefits system, would earn Loach his second Palme d’Or (after 2006’s The wind that shakes the barley) and became a rallying cry for social justice around the world. He followed this up in 2019 with Sorry we missed you, a sharp attack on the fragile and damaging nature of the gig economy, told through the story of a man who works for an Amazon-esque delivery service. present Sorry we missed you at Cannes, Loach again said the film would be his last to grace the Croisette. It wasn’t.

The old oakthat one, please I, Daniel Blake And Sorry we missed you, is also set and shot in the North East of England and revolves around the last pub in a former mining village that has fallen into difficulties after 30 years of decline. The watering hole becomes a hotbed of tension after the arrival of Syrian refugees.

Loach says he went into the movie knowing it would probably be his last.

“I’m just not sure if I can get back on the field,” he said. “It’s like an old nag on the Grand National. Do you think, good God, I’ll fall at the first gate!?”

If it were Loach’s last feature, The old oak marks the end of a career spanning more than 60 years for a director whose compassionate focus on the struggles of the working class has made him one of the most celebrated and iconoclastic filmmakers of his time. Some of his most famous works include social realist classics Kes, Raining stones, Sweet SixteenAnd My name is Joethe historical dramas Country and freedom And The wind that shakes the barleyand comedies like Angel’s share And Looking for Eric. He is perhaps the most successful director ever at Cannes. In addition to his two Palms, he also won the Jury Prize of the festival (in 2012 for Angel’s share) and received three FIPRESCI awards from the International Association of Film Critics. His long list of honors includes a BAFTA, a French Cesar and two European Film Awards for best film. Kes was named the 7th best British film of the 20th century by the British Film Institute.

While Loach can argue The old oak will be his last feature-length narrative, he’s not ruling out making another documentary, said Paul Laverty, his longtime writer and collaborator (The old oak marks their 16th film together).

“That wouldn’t be so absolutely overwhelming — you wouldn’t need that huge casting,” he said. “But I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t do anything. I think it’s really in his blood. And he still has a lot to say.”

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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