27/30 Kes (1969)

A Film You Watch to Feel Down

I don’t really get this one, but I’ll figure it out .. “a film you watch to feel down” .. You know, I don’t watch films to feel down, I usually feel down after a film only if it’s terrible and/or dissapointing in a way that takes on its own life. Films are ment to elevate, to move, to make you think, feel, love. I guess what this question is aiming at is a so called ‘depressing movie’, a film that shows life as it actually is and not as the fairytale we’re ment to believe. Depressing isn’t a bad quality for me in a film, in fact I treasure it rather than avoid it, but I understand why some people would be cautious. For some, a film is an espace, a fairytale that’s meant to cheer and entertain.

For me no one does depressing as well as the Nordics (and maybe the Irish). I mean c’mon, it’s dark here, it’s depressing. We get a few months of light, go crazy and then it’s back to a gloomy melancholy. That’s why Bergman, Kaurismäki, Vinterberg, Von Trier are the way they are.

Then you get the holocaust stuff. That never seems to get old… (The might of the Academy!) And the war stuff. Vietnam, Cambodia (Did you see The Killing Fields? .. wow), Rwanda, Russia. And the heartbraking individuals that suffer in the grip of drugs, human trafficking, slavery, murderers, opressionists, husbands, wives, neighbours, strangers.

For me this should basically be a spot reserved forever and always to my undying love for Lars Von Trier, yet I find myself turning to Ken Loach. I mean, Kes is heartwrenching. Billy boy lives a miserable life in a miserable town with a miserable working-class family, in working-class England, in the 60’s (if this didn’t get you to feel miserable already, it gets better..). Also, he gets beaten down a lot. He’s bullied, his brother dispises him and his mother ‘don’t give a shit’. Billy is sad, Billy is a runt. His only hope, friend, companion and passion is his noble kestrel, Kes (that’s a bird BTW). Oh and yes that little creep brother of Billy’s kills the bird. It’s the worst when the pets die..

Look at that face and tell me that’s not the saddest thing you’ve ever seen.


7 responses to “27/30 Kes (1969)

  1. This is much loved in the UK and is in fact quite a favourite among people of a certain age.

    One of my favourite scenes ever is Brian Glover pretending to be Bobby Charlton on the football pitch. Fantastically acted and sooo funny!

    • Oh yes for sure Loach is a big thing in the UK, but what I’ve heard from people everywhere else in the world he’s not that well known. Loach is definitely a UK staple!

  2. I bought the Criterion Blu-ray of this and the language was a barrier during the first watch. Yes it is in english, but the accents are very heavy. I definitely want to give it another try.

  3. Wow, LOVE your new blog layout Anna… what a beautiful photo you’ve got on your banner. Hmmm, I don’t know if I deliberately want to choose a movie to feel down, but this sounds intriguing.

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