Ken Loach: A Retrospective

We mark Ken Loach’s 75th birthday with an expansive retrospective of his hard-hitting work in film and television.

This major new addition to the Mediatheque’s collections marks celebrated filmmaker Ken Loach’s 75th birthday with an expansive retrospective of his hard-hitting work in film and television since the 1960s, including many previously unavailable titles. Launching across two months, the retrospective begins with television, from Loach’s early work at the BBC directing episodes of Z Cars and The Wednesday Play through to 70s mini-series Days of Hope and the provocative non-fiction output of the 80s and 90s. This is followed by a survey of his big-screen filmmaking, with a raft of complete features and shorts to explore.

Whether you’re new to Loach or a long-standing aficionado, this collection – encompassing the familiar (Up the Junction, 1965) and the rarely seen (Looks and Smiles, 1981) – will offer unparalleled access to the work of British cinema’s most outspoken and politically engaged iconoclast.

Ten to try

Z Cars: Profit by Their Example (1964)

The first of three episodes of the police drama series directed by Loach early in his BBC career.

Cathy Come Home (1966)

Groundbreaking TV play which fuelled the homelessness debate.

In Two Minds (1967)

David Mercer’s contentious play about a young woman diagnosed with schizophrenia, later re-worked in Loach’s 1971 feature Family Life.

The Rank and File (1971)

The devastating effect of a glass factory strike on the local community is explored in Loach’s drama-documentary, filmed in Stoke-on-Trent.

Talk About Work (1971)

Candid views on the world of work from three North West youngsters in Loach’s rarely seen short for the Central Youth Employment Executive.

The Red and the Blue (1983)

Loach contrasts the1982 Labour and Conservative party conferences, which are seen through the eyes of six delegates.

Fatherland (1986)

An East German singer in exile struggles to adapt to Western values and decides to track down his long-lost father in England.

The Flickering Flame (1996)

The sacked dockers of Liverpool supporters’ group Women of the Waterfront is the subject of Loach’s Modern Times documentary, as they seek solidarity at the TUC conference.

The Navigators (1996)

The privatisation of British Rail wreaks havoc for a group of Yorkshire track workers and their families in Loach’s blackly comic feature.

The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006)

Loach takes us back to the 1920s and the fight for Irish independence in the controversial Palme d’Or winner, starring Cillian Murphy.

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