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KES

Sunday, April 28
5:50

Thursday, May 2
12:15   8:45

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U.K., 1969
Directed by Ken Loach
Based on the novel by Barry Hines
With David Bradley, Freddie Fletcher, Lynne Perrie
Cinematography by Chris Menges
Approx. 112 mins. DCP.


In a surprisingly green Yorkshire mill town, David Bradley’s feckless Billy Casper is the runtiest of the runtiest: sleeping two to a bed, he’s ruthlessly awakened two hours early by his Big Brother from Hell; casually “nicks” smokes and snacks on his paper route — “nicking” a book on falconry when he decides to train a kestrel hawk he’s spotted — nailed in class for talking when he’s quoting the BBC; picked last for football, then terrorized by the coach; can’t pay attention, constantly makes excuses, can’t wait to split from an important meeting — but when sympathetic teacher Colin Welland actually goads him to speak in class, he eventually mesmerizes the bleeding carpers with an electrifying monologue on the taming and training of “Kes.” And then, in “the thrill of a lifetime,” Welland gets to watch.

Reviews

“A MASTERPIECE... The scenes in which young Bradley learns to train his eponymous falcon are riveting, unfolding with detail and elegant movement.”
– Chris Cabin, Slant

"LOACH'S MOST ENDURING WORK! Cinematographer Chris Menges translated Loach’s documentary-style realism into a quiet form of natural-lit observation."
Time Out

“STILL CUTS LIKE A KNIFE!”
The Telegraph

“A MASTERPIECE! MORE LUMINOUS, MORE IMPASSIONED THAN EVER! A RICH FILM OF FLESH AND BLOOD.”
The Guardian

“As classic and inevitable as Truffaut’s THE 400 BLOWS! Superb, as are individual scenes, seemingly improvised, that erupt with enormous vérité.”
– Vincent Canby, The New York Times

“Loach is still championing the resourcefulness and bravery of those poor people who refuse to buckle down and know their place in society. In KES, it’s there in the lyricism of Menges’ cinematography and John Cameron’s gorgeous score. It’s there in the comedy. And, most of all, it’s there in Billy himself: his smart-aleck witticisms, monkey-like climbing skills, his eloquence when describing his kestrel; even, most importantly, his ability still to feel hurt.”
– Sukhdev Sandhu, The Telegraph

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