Miami Beach Cinematheque. Jun 17th, 2010.
Kes is a classic British film from director Ken Loach, based on the novel “A Kestrel for a Knave” by Barry Hines, ranked consistently in the BFI’s Best British Films of All Time, and in the top ten of “films you should see by the age of 14”. It focuses on Billy Casper, who has little hope in life beyond becoming a coal miner and is bullied both at home, by his physically and verbally abusive half-brother, Jud, as well as at school. Outside cadging money and day-dreaming at school, Billy has no positive interests, until he finds an outlet from his pitiful existence through training a kestrel that he takes from a nest near the beach.
“Kes remains Ken Loach’s masterpiece. While the director has reached similar aesthetic heights in subsequent years, the film remains a template for Loach’s abiding concerns: the struggle of the British working class to achieve life’s basic needs; the significant impact of public institutions upon personal lives; and an unobtrusive yet evocative visual style that illuminates character and place in a naturalistic fashion. Arriving as the ’60s drew to a close, Kes heralds the end of “kitchen sink realism” and the true arrival of one of contemporary cinema’s major artists.” – Mike Robbins, Senses of Cinema.
Miami Beach Cinematheque
512 Española Way
Miami Beach, FL 33139