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For years, it seemed the History Channel was lost in the weeds. Despite changing their name to History, their shows were more “mindless reality TV binge watch” and less “did I just accidentally learn something?” An intellectual wasteland, Ancient Aliens was the closest you could find to an edutainment series on the channel from 2010 to 2013. Then along came Vikings, and everything changed. Vikings premiered to 6 million viewers — and while not 100% historically accurate, it was head and shoulders above History’S other offerings at the time. The success opened the door to programming like the limited-series Barbarians Rising and the recent remake of Roots. But until now, Vikings has been the lone History historical series, adrift in a sea of Mountain Men and Swamp People. This solitude ends when Knightfall joins the line-up. A new series from Jeremy Renner’s (yes, Hawkeye) and Don Handfield’s production company The Combine and Midnight Radio, Knightfall will follow the Vikings model of blending history and drama, only this time during the fall of the Knights Templar. One of the most mysterious and powerful orders of the Middle Ages, the Knights Templar were a military group entrusted with the keeping of the Holy Grail and — according to legend — knew secrets about the Church that could bring it to its knees. But they were also an order of men, with all the messy politicking and “mean-girling” that entails. Knightfall promises to go deep into the inner circle of the Knights Templar’s clandestine world. Not just the battles in the Holy Land, but the battles on the home front. Not everyone loved the Templars, leading to clashes with both the King of France and Pope Boniface VIII. The latter of which would end in the disbanding the order on Friday the 13th, which is why the date is considered unlucky even now. Oh, look! The show hasn’t even started, and you’re already learning something. Production for Knightfall begins this summer in Croatia and the Czech Republic. Tom Cullen (Downton Abbey) was previously announced to star as Landry, a former warrior and current leader of the Knights Templar. But now the cast is fully in place and ready to return to the 12th century. From the press release: [Starring] Bobby Schofield (Black Sea, Our World War) as Parsifal, a young man of ordinary birth who will join the Knights Templar seeking revenge, but ultimately finds a higher purpose; Sabrina Bartlett (DaVinci’s Demons, Poldark) as Princess Isabella, Queen Joan and King Philip's daughter, her upcoming wedding stands to forge a powerful political alliance for France; Julian Ovenden (Downton Abbey, Person of Interest, The Colony) as De Nogaret, King Philip’s Machiavellian lawyer and right hand man; Sarah-Sofie Boussnina (The Bridge, The Absent One) as Adelina, as a child she was rescued in the Holy Land by the Templar Knights, but now in her early 20s, she lives on the streets of Paris as a thief; Padraic Delaney (The Wind That Shakes the Barley, The Tudors) as Gawain, once the greatest swordsman of the Templar Order whose role with them is at a crossroads; Simon Merrells (Spartacus, Dominion ) as Tancrede, a veteran sergeant fanatically devoted to the Templar Knight cause and Olivia Ross (War and Peace, Blowing Louder than the Wind , Father of My Children) as Queen Joan of Navarre, Queen of France and Queen Regnant of Navarre, a devoted mother, warrior, and a formidable diplomat and strategist. We’re entering a new era. One in which History retakes the torch. It was up to Comedy Central, of all places, to keep the learning fires alive with Drunk History and Another Period. But now the original is back, and hopefully better than ever. »
- Donna Dickens
Ken Loach’s latest film “I, Daniel Blake” follows Daniel Blake (Dave John), a 59-year-old carpenter in North England who suffers a crippling heart attack. He applies for government benefits but immediately encounters a host of red tape that threaten his livelihood, such as when his benefits are denied because the state wants him to return to work against his doctor’s wishes. As Daniel struggles to win the right to appeal, he meets a single mother (Hayley Squires) with two kids in the welfare office who are being squeezed out of an increasingly-gentrified London; Blake helps them set up their new flat and soon they become close friends. Loach’s film tackles the social and medical bureaucracy facing millions of people across the globe who wish to just find some compassion out of a cruel, unfeeling world. Watch a trailer for the film above.
Read More: Cannes Review: Why ‘I, Daniel Blake’ is Ken Loach’s Best Movie in Years
Ken Loach has been directing films for over fifty years. Some of his most acclaimed films include “Kes,” about a young boy and his relationship with a kestrel, and “Riff-Raff,” about a man (Robert Carlyle) recently released from prison who struggles to find employment. He has won the Palme D’Or on two occasions: In 2006 with “The Wind That Shakes The Barley,” and just this year with “I, Daniel Blake.”
“I, Daniel Blake” will premiere in the UK on October 21st. A U.S. release date has not yet been set.
Read More: First Look: Ken Loach’s New Film ‘I, Daniel Blake’
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Related stories'Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach' Trailer: Palme d'Or-Winning Director Gets In-Depth Documentary'i, Daniel Blake' Reviews: Ken Loach's Surprise Palme d'Or Winner Receives Mixed Reactions from CannesHere's Where You Can Watch Every Palme d'Or Winner »
- Vikram Murthi
For the last half-a-century, Ken Loach has built up an iconic body of work, examining social issues through a realist approach in both drama and romance. From his landmark Kes to his double Palme d’Or win for The Wind That Shakes the Barley and this year’s I, Daniel Blake (our review), it’s the ideal time to get a definitive documentary of his career and one looks to have arrived with Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach.
In the works before his Palme d’Or win this year, it comes from director Louise Osmond, who helmed the heartwarming documentary Dark Horse, released last month in the United States. While his new documentary doesn’t have U.S. distribution yet, it’s already in theaters in the U.K. and so we have a new trailer and batch of clips. Featuring interviews with the director and his close collaborators (and adversaries), check out everything below.
Versus presents a surprisingly candid behind-the-scenes account of Ken Loach’s career as he prepares to release his latest feature film I, Daniel Blake, later this year. Director Louise Osmond was granted exclusive access on set and uses this as a starting point to look at Loach’s career, from his first job as understudy in a Kenneth Williams revue to ground-breaking TV dramas like Up The Junction and Cathy Come Home and later as an award- winning feature director of films like Kes, Riff-Raff, The Wind That Shakes the Barley, and The Angels’ Share. As well as inter-views with Loach, Osmond talks with a host of his friends, adversaries, actors and collaborators. This year will see Ken Loach celebrate his 80th birthday, release his 50th major work and commemorate Cathy Come Home’s 50th anniversary in November. Versus is more than just a document of Loach’s work but a playful study on the process and struggles of creating such a unique body of work. I, Daniel Blake won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach is now in theaters in the U.K. and is seeking U.S. distribution.
- Leonard Pearce
Friday sees the release in the U.K. of a documentary celebrating the 50-year career of British director Ken Loach, whose 80th birthday is this month and whose social-realist drama “I, Daniel Blake” recently won Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or. Variety spoke to Loach’s long-time producer Rebecca O’Brien at Sixteen Films about the director’s work, their filmmaking partnership spanning almost 30 years, and the impact that winning the Palme d’Or could have on “I, Daniel Blake.”
Loach has had 13 films in competition at Cannes, all but one of them produced by O’Brien, starting with 1990’s Jury Prize winner “Hidden Agenda” and including 2006 Palme d’Or winner “The Wind That Shakes the Barley.” When O’Brien first started to work with Loach in 1987, he was finding it almost impossible to attract backing for his feature films and documentaries as his radical left-wing perspective fell out »
- Leo Barraclough
As we mounted the stairs of the Red Carpet for the last time, the Closing Night Awards for the Cannes International Film Festival were announced by the Jury President, George Miller, Director of “Mad Max: Fury Road”. The eight additional members, four women and four men -- Arnaud Desplechin, Kirsten Dunst, Valeria Golino, Mads Mikkelsen, László Nemes , Vanessa Paradis, Katayoon Shahabi and Donald Sutherland presented the awards. Surprise of the evening was that the German Competition film, Maren Ade’s “Toni Erdmann”, clearly an audience favorite and snatched up immediately for the U.S. by Sony Pictures Classics, received no award at all. However, it was a great evening for IFC/ Sundance Selects who has the U.S. rights to three winners, "I, Daniel Blake", "Graduation" and "Personal Shopper".
The Palme d’Or went to Ken Loach for “I, Daniel Blake”, the sad drama of a disabled worker and of a young single mother of two who hold each other up as they try to navigate the social service morass which denies them their rightful ability to pursue happiness. The 79-year-old British director Ken Loach also won in 2006 for "The Wind that Shakes the Barley" and has had over 18 films selected for Cannes. This Sundance Selects acquisition brought audiences to wrenching tears.
“The festival is very important for the future of cinema,” said Loach. “When there is despair, the people from the far right take advantage. We must say that another world is possible and necessary.”
Best Director Award was split between Romanian Cristian Mungiu ("Graduation" or “Bacalaureat”) and Olivier Assayas (“Personal Shopper”). Mungiu’s "4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days" won the Palme d'Or in 2007. His actresses had shared the Actress prize for "Beyond the Hills." Like the Romanian 2013 Berlinale winner, “Child’s Pose” and Iranian Asghar Farhadi’s 2012 Academy Award winner, “A Separation”, the film contains object lessons about the moral choices made by humans whose actions result in greater damage than originally foreseen, especially when taking place in an already corrupted society. In this story a father tries to protect his daughter and give her the greatest opportunities for making her life better than that of her parents.
Co-winner Olivier Assayas, received his first Cannes award for "Personal Shopper" (IFC Films). This is his second English-language film starring Kristen Stewart (Cesar winner for "Clouds of Sils Maria"). As she buys fashionable attire for a rich client and tries to communicate with her twin brother, who has recently died. It was a great Cannes for Stewart, who was well-received in Woody Allen's "Cafe Society" (Amazon has U.S.) as well.
Best Screenplay went to “The Salesman” by Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi (Amazon and Cohen Media Group share U.S. rights). His star, Shahab Hosseini won Best Actor his role as an actor in the midst of moving apartments and starring in Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" when his wife (Taraneh Alidoosti) is assaulted in the shower of their new domicile by a man who assumes that she is the former tenant, a prostitute. Winning the Jury Prize for the third time (!) for coming of age road movie “American Honey” (A24 has U.S.) starring Shia Labeouf and unknown Sasha Lane. British director Andrea Arnold wanted to dance as she accepted the award. Xavier Dolan, who won the 2014 Jury Prize of “Mommy” won the Grand Prix for his very theatrical "It's Only the End of the World". He cried to receive the award for his family drama starring some of the greatest French actors living today, Nathalie Baye, Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux, Gaspard Ulliel. The film has no U.S. distributor yet. To my mind, the acting far outstripped the story. I am just glad the other greatest French actor, Isabelle Huppert, was not in Dolan’s film. She had her hands full in Paul Verhoeven’s “Elle” the Competition film about another woman attacked in her home by an unknown assailant. Best Actress went to Jaclyn Jose for “Ma' Rosa” by Philippine director Brillante Mendoza.
The Caméra d'Or ("Golden Camera") for the best first feature film presented in one of the Cannes' selections (Official Selection, Directors' Fortnight or International Critics' Week) went to “Divines” directed by Houda Benyamina. Houda received her award with unconcealed joy and enthusiasm. The 35 year old Franco-Moroccan film director whose long and strong speech called on women to be more present in the world of cinema said, “I was always saying that I do not care about Cannes …but today, well I’m happy to be here. Cannes belongs to us too …For things to change, you have to put a lot more women in decision-making positions…I am a committed filmmaker, making films is a way to turn my [feminist] anger into perspective…Women! Women!” she added as she broke into the Arabic women’s Ululation. Houda’s film follows an impoverished young girl who drops out of school and escapes her family in search of her own emancipation and personal freedom.
Outside of the Official Awards the winner of the Queer Palm (Feature) was "Les Vies de Thérèse" by Sébastien Lifshitz and Queer Palm (Short): "Gabber Lover" Anna Cazenave-Cambet. And finally, the Palme Dog went to Nellie for “Paterson”by Jim Jarmusch.
- Sydney Levine
After dozens of films, a slew of yacht parties I wasn’t invited to and red carpet extravaganzas I could see while walking into yet another press screening, Cannes is finally drawn to a close. Sleep deprivation aside, it’s been quite a year, filled with glamour (including Julia Roberts’s first time on the Croisette), controversy (Woody Allen took some heat, while Susan Sarandon caused her share of headlines), and some consternation (it’s fair to say that the Sean Penn film did more to unite critics than any other film).
In the land of glitz it’s probably a fitting irony that George Miller’s Jury chose I, Daniel Blake as their Palme d’Or winner. The latest film by left-leaning UK filmmaker Ken Loach who last won the big prize with 2006’s The Wind That Shakes the Barley, his latest work tackles social justice in the form of a welfare office, »
- Jason Gorber
UK producer behind Palme d’Or winners I, Daniel Blake and The Wind That Shakes The Barley to discuss creative talent.Click here to register for Media Summit
Rebecca O’Brien, producer of more than 15 films by Ken Loach, is to speak at the Mbi Media Summit on June 7.
The Sixteen Films producer will sit on a panel titled Creative Talent: Finding them, growing them, keeping them, which will explore the importance of equipping new and emerging British talent with the skills to remain competitive on the international stage.
O’Brien was on stage with Loach at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday after their latest feature, I, Daniel Blake, won the coveted Palme d’Or.
It marked a decade since Loach won the festival’s top prize with The Wind That Shakes That Barley, also produced by O’Brien.
Cannes — We say it every year — often repeatedly — over the course of Oscar reason, as we puzzle over the quirks and oversights of the Academy’s choices: Actors and filmmakers are not critics.
We don’t say it as often at the Cannes Film Festival, though it’s just as often applicable. For every year the Cannes jury — composed mostly of working industry professionals — echoes their approval of a critics’ pet in Competition (“Blue is the Warmest Color” or “Amour,” to name two recent Palme d’Or winners), there’s another where they express a very different preference.
Last year provided a good example of that, as Jacques Audiard’s “Dheepan” took the top prize from a Coen brothers-led jury, despite a critical reception that was more respectable than ecstatic. That mild divergence, as it turned out, was a mere warm-up act for the surprises of this year’s Competition awards, »
- Guy Lodge
Cannes once again makes a political statement - as they did with Dheepan last year and Winter Sleep (from Turkey) the year before. Winners of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival awards, including the coveted Palme d'Or, were revealed at a glamorous ceremony in Cannes featuring Donald Sutherland and George Miller. The big winner is Ken Loach for his film I, Daniel Blake, about an aging man in the UK who struggles to get welfare because of a very broken system. This is the second Palme d'Or for Ken Loach, who won for The Wind That Shakes the Barley in 2006; he has also received four other awards in Cannes previously. A few of my other favorites, including The Red Turtle and Captain Fantastic, also won awards this year. See below. Here's the full list of Cannes 2016 winners, with most of the key awards listed below, including Un Certain Regard. I'll get into »
- Alex Billington
As juror László Nemes (“Son of Saul”) said at the start of the Cannes Film Festival, juries are by their nature random. One thing you can count on is that the actors on the jury will shift the conversation. From the start, this year’s actors said they were looking for emotion. And that’s what the two top winners boast in abundance. “It was a collective decision,” said Miller of his “nine-headed beast,” describing the awards process as like creating a painting. “We looked at every variable, it’s not like ticking off a vote for the Oscars…we were looking at the awards like a totality. It took so much time, so much rigor, it was exhausting, emotionally, as everyone was talking so passionately.”
Thanks to jury chief Miller, it was Mel Gibson (whose “Blood Father” played well as a Cannes midnight movie) who presented the Palme d’Or to 79-year-old British director Ken Loach, winning for the second time (2006’s “The Wind that Shakes the Barley”); he’s won many other prizes over 18 films selected for Cannes. By far the most emotional movie of the festival, “I, Daniel Blake” (Sundance Selects) brought audiences to wrenching tears, including this writer. Based on research into England’s public welfare crisis, the film is a fictionalized story set in Newcastle about a joiner (Dave Johns) who can’t seem to convince the state to give him the disability he needs after a heart condition makes it impossible for him to work.
“The festival is very important for the future of cinema,” said Loach. “When there is despair, the people from the far right take advantage. We must say that another world is possible and necessary.”
Read More: The 2016 Indiewire Cannes Bible: Every Review, Interview and News Item Posted During the Festival
Many critics did not respond to Loach’s overtly political film because they didn’t think he was doing anything different from what he had done before. But they really didn’t like Xavier Dolan’s very theatrical “It’s Only the End of the World,” which won the consolation prize, the Grand Prix, which means that the jury responded very differently to this heartfelt adaptation of a play about a dysfunctional family, who scream in French in extreme closeup. (Dolan won the jury prize in 2014 for “Mommy.”)
“Thank you for feeling the emotions of the film,” said Dolan (who attacked the critical reaction to his film) in a speech during which he cried, lips trembling, and chewed on his hands. Maybe it will now be picked up for the U.S., although it won’t be a crowdpleaser.
Co-winner of the director prize, Romanian Cristian Mungiu (“Graduation”), had also won the Palme d’Or, for 2007’s “4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days,” and his actresses shared the Actress prize for “Beyond the Hills.” Mungiu’s “Graduation” (Sundance Selects) sends a controlling father (Adrian Titieni) into a tailspin when his long-held post-graduation plans for his daughter (Maria Dragus) go terribly awry. Mungiu points out each individual’s role in doing the right thing when corruption and compromise often rule the day.
Co-winner Olivier Assayas, on the other hand, accepted his first Cannes award for “Personal Shopper” (IFC Films), his second English-language film starring Kristen Stewart (Cesar winner for “Clouds of Sils Maria”), whose character acquires fashionable clothes for a rich client. She tries to use her skills as a medium to communicate with her twin brother, who has recently died, when mysterious texts suddenly appear on her iPhone. It was a great Cannes for Stewart, who was well-received in Woody Allen’s “Cafe Society” (Amazon) as well, and for IFC/Sundance Selects, which is releasing “I, Daniel Blake,” “Graduation” and “Personal Shopper.”
Those who thought that the women who dominated the Cannes would come home with multiple awards were sorely disappointed. British director Andrea Arnold took home the jury prize for the third time for her daring American road movie “American Honey” (A24), a coming of age story starring Shia Labeouf and unknown Sasha Lane, making Arnold three for three at the fest after 2006’s “Red Road” and 2009’s “Fish Tank.”
Critics adored the film, which was shaped by the American midwestern landscape as well as the editing room. The film was vastly different from its original script and unlike anything else at Cannes this year. “Five hours ago I was sitting in my neighbor’s garden drinking tea,” Arnold said in her acceptance speech, thanking her cast and crew for the “team effort” on their “great adventure.”
Meanwhile, critics’ fave and the winner by a mile of the Screen International Critics Poll (see below), German director Maren Ade’s exquisite father-daughter comedy “Toni Erdmann” (Sony Pictures Classics), came home empty-handed. At the jury press conference jury chief Miller cited a “passionate” and long jury deliberation (which Mikkelsen described as “difficult”) on 21 films, directors, writers and many more actors as well as arcane jury rules that demand that the top three winners cannot win a second prize. Miller and Mads Mikkelsen both stated that they judged the films on their excellence, not on the sex of who directed them. “Each film was judged on its merits,” said Miller. “Filmmaking is filmmaking. It did not come up, we were looking at other issues.”
The jury defended the choice of Best Actress Jaclyn Jose for “Ma’ Rosa,” from Philippine director Brillante Mendoza, which some critics had suggested was a supporting role in a sprawling ensemble. “The critics were wrong,” said Donald Sutherland. “It’s a big-time leading role.”
“She’s the film,” said Arnaud Desplechin. “She broke my heart.”
The jury admitted that there were many strong actress contenders including “I, Daniel Blake”‘s Hayley Squires and Romanian actress Maria Dragus (“Graduation”), but they couldn’t award more than one prize for winners of the top three awards.
Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman” (Amazon/Cohen Media) was another surprise winner, taking home two prizes, for Best Actor and Best Screenplay. Shahab Hosseini plays an actor who is in the midst of moving apartments and starring in Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” when his wife (Taraneh Alidoosti) is assaulted in the shower of their new domicile by a man who assumes that she is the former tenant, a prostitute. When the door buzzes, the wife thinks she is letting in her husband, but winds up in the hospital with more than wounds to her head and psyche — her husband is hellbent on revenge.
The Honorary Palme d’Or went to Jean-Pierre Leaud, who came to the festival with his first film “The 400 Blows” in 1959 when he was 14 years old, and was hugged by Jean Cocteau. Juror Arnaud Desplechin presented the award. Leaud said this was the most joy he had felt since Francois Truffaut told him to take the script for “The 400 Blows.”
Among those who did not need to attend the closing ceremony were Isabelle Huppert, who earned raves for Paul Verhoeven’s provocative thriller “Elle” (Sony Pictures Classics), in which she plays a videogame entrepreneur who refuses to allow her violent rape in her own home to ruin her life. Verhoeven’s first French-language film is likely to play better in North America.
Read More: Cannes 2016: Complete List of This Year’s Winners
Also left out of the awards were “Paterson” (Amazon), American auteur Jim Jarmusch’s spare and austere portrait of a bus driver poet (Adam Driver) and his wife and muse (Golshifteh Farahani), as well as Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes’ “The Unknown Girl” (Sundance Selects), starring Adèle Haenel as an empathetic doctor who ignores a late-hour doorbell at her private practice and finds out that the young woman was murdered nearby. She embarks on a mission to identify the girl and inform her family of her death. Park Chan-Wook’s gorgeously wrought erotic drama “The Handmaiden” (Amazon) starring Kim Min-hee and newcomer Kim Tae-ri as secret lesbian lovers was also overlooked.
Among the anticipated films that disappointed the critics at Cannes (not to mention the jury) were Sean Penn’s aid worker romance “The Last Face,” starring Javier Bardem and Charlize Theron, which was seeking a North American buyer, and Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Neon Demon” (Amazon), starring Elle Fanning, who discovers that starving models in the Los Angeles fashion world literally eat each other alive. In one memorable scene, when one x-ray model known as the bionic woman (because she has altered so much of her body) throws up an eyeball, her best friend pops it into her own mouth. (With five films at the festival, Amazon won no awards.)
At the “Neon Demon” party, when I asked Cannes director Thierry Fremaux why so many movies wound up in Competition that the critics did not like, he said that the festival was not set up for the critics, although they clearly play an important role. He said that how movies played for audiences was important too. Clearly that included the Cannes jury.
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- Anne Thompson
As the 69th Cannes Film Festival draws to a close, here’s a look back at some of the biggest scandals, trends and other worthwhile tales from the Croisette.
Ken Loach Wins Another Palme d’Or
Ken Loach can now boast a rare distinction among filmmakers–more than one Palme d’Or trophy. The director’s “I, Daniel Blake” picked up the top prize at Sunday’s closing ceremony, following his 2006 victory for “The Wind That Shakes the Barley.” The win also marked a great day for IFC Films, whose sister label Sundance Selects acquired the movie about a disabled carpenter (Dave Johns) trying to hold on to his British welfare benefits.
“American Honey” Soars
Andrea Arnold’s drama about a group of kids hustling for money on a road trip across the country was another beloved English-language movie to premiere at Cannes this year, and it took home the jury prize. »
- Ramin Setoodeh
After 12 days of glorious cinema in the South of France (read all of our coverage right here), and 21 films in competition as part of the official selection, tonight head of the Cannes Jury George Miller announced the winners of the festival, including the prestigious Palme d’Or for best in show.
In our review we said that the film’s lead actor, comedian Dave Johns, ‘is near perfect in his portrayal of his character, a humble, grieving, decent man with only help to give and nothing to take from the state unnecessarily. Hayley Squires matches that performance with Katie, a single mother who many will obviously identify with, and her turn in practically flawless. In the film generally, »
- Paul Heath
Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake has won the Palme d’Or at the 69th Cannes Film Festival (May 11-22), marking the second time the British filmmaker has won the top prize after The Wind That Shakes The Barley in 2006.
The 79-year-old filmmaker returned for a record 13th Competition entry with the tale of an injured carpenter and single mother caught in a bureaucracy nightmare within the UK welfare system.
Accepting the Palme d’Or from actor Mel Gibson, Loach used his acceptance speech to spotlight the “dangerous project of austerity”.
“We must give a message of hope, we must say another world is possible,” he said. “The world we live in is at a dangerous point right now. We are in the grip of a dangerous project of austerity driven by ideas that we »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
In a huge surprise, Ken Loach‘s working-class drama “I, Daniel Blake” has won the Palme d’Or as the best film of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. It marks the veteran British director’s second Palme. His first came for “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” a decade ago. “I, Daniel Blake” focuses on a elderly British carpenter who forms a friendship with a young single mother as they both struggle with an implacable and unfeeling bureaucracy that makes life harder for the lower classes. Also Read: 'I, Daniel Blake' Cannes Review: Ken Loach's Touching Character Study Is »
- Steve Pond
This week, Neil Calloway looks at how winning in Cannes affects a film’s box office…
Cannes remains the most important film festival in the world, and one of the most important events of any type (think of an annual event that gets the same coverage and you’re searching for a while). The latest festival ends tonight.
There are three parts to Cannes – the market, where bad movies get sold to international distributors so the producers can finance their next straight to DVD Nazi-Vampire-Kung Fu flick, there’s the promotional part, where young, pretty actresses get photographed next to old directors, and there is the competition.
The top prize at the competition, and unquestionably the top prize at any film festival anywhere, is the Palme d’Or. Does winning it help a film, though?
Looking at films who won over the past ten years – even when directed by »
- Neil Calloway
Sundance Selects has acquired U.S. rights to competition Cannes drama “I, Daniel Blake,” Variety has exclusively learned.
The movie, directed by Ken Loach, premiered May 12 to strong reviews. Several buyers circled film, the story about a disabled carpenter (Dave Johns) trying to hold on to his British welfare benefits as he befriends a single mother with two children. The cast also includes Hayley Squires, Dylan McKiernan and Briana Shann. The script was written by Paul Laverty.
“The quiet beauty of ‘I, Daniel Blake’ — the reason it’s the rare political drama that touches the soul — is that we believe, completely, in these people standing in front of us,” wrote Variety chief film critic Owen Gleiberman, calling it one of his favorite films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
- Ramin Setoodeh and Elsa Keslassy
For decades, Ken Loach has magnified the struggles of people fucked by the system. From the ostracized youth of 1969's "Kes" to guerrilla fighters in the Irish War of Independence in 2006's Palme d'Or-winning "The Wind That Shakes the Barley," Loach's movies focus on realistic scenarios without an ounce of glamor. Leisurely paced but fraught with activist intent, the filmmaker applies a humanitarian perspective that can sometimes come across as overly pedagogical, but rarely without a considerable dose of drama. "I, Daniel Blake," the 79-year-old filmmaker's alleged final film, falls neatly into this paradigm. A predictable bittersweet look at the bureaucratic impact of medical assistance on an ailing middle-class carpenter, the movie pulls off no fancy tricks in its straightforward, didactic approach. But that's Loach in a nutshell, and anchored by a pair of convincing performances, marks his best film in years. It doesn't take »
- Eric Kohn
Ken Loach, whose latest film I, Daniel Blake is screening at Cannes, is the subject of Versus, a new documentary directed by Louise Osmond, which examines the full breadth of his 50-year career. An avowedly political film-maker, Loach first made his mark with TV plays in the mid-60s, before turning to cinema with features such as Poor Cow and Kes. He has been a favourite of the Cannes selectors for decades, and won the top award in 2006 for The Wind That Shakes the Barley. Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach is released on 3 June
Read Peter Bradshaw’s review of I, Daniel Blake
Continue reading »
- Guardian Staff
British director Ken Loach is out of retirement and back at Cannes, where he’s been 19 times and where his latest piece of low-key but urgent social criticism won cheers from the audience at its first press screening on Thursday afternoon. “I, Daniel Blake” comes a decade after Loach won the Palme d’Or for “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” and only two years after he was at Cannes with “Jimmy’s Hall.” That means his “retirement” was barely a retirement at all — just a brief respite for a man who started putting slices of social-realism drama (plus occasional comedies. »
- Steve Pond
In the lead up to Cannes, we revisit the 2010 Screen Jury Grid and reflect on what critics around the world had to say about the films in Competition.
Each year, Screen calls upon its international jury of critics to cast their judgement on the films in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival and rounds up the results in the ever-popular Screen Jury Grid.
In 2010, top marks from the critics went to Mike Leigh’s romantic drama Another Year, which scored a strong 3.4 out of 4. The ensemble drama was Leigh’s fourth film in Competition at Cannes, including Secrets and Lies, which won the top prize in 1996.
Leigh has since been up for the Palme d’Or with biopic Mr Turner, which starred Timothy Spall as eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner, for which he won best actor at the festival in 2014.
But in 2010, the Palme d’Or went to fantasy drama Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall »
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