Thursday 18 January 2018

Loach undecided over retirement

Ken Loach has not made a decision on whether to retire
Ken Loach has not made a decision on whether to retire

Veteran British director Ken Loach has said he has yet to make a decision on whether to retire, despite rumours that the 29th film of his career would be his last.

The 77-year-old football fan said he would consider his options while watching the World Cup, before getting together with collaborator Paul Laverty and contemplating future projects.

The Kes director, who attended the premiere of his gritty Irish tale Jimmy's Hall at the British Film Institute on London's South Bank tonight, appeared to renege on comments made last year that he planned to retire upon the film's release.

He said: "It's tempting to keep going but I think there's a time limit.

"It's not a big deal - it just depends if I can summon up the energy again, really.

"There are lots of good stories to tell and people to work with.

"It (directing) is more tempting the further away you get from previous jobs because you forget the bad things."

He added: "When you're getting to the wrong end of your 70s you don't get up quite as easily as before.

"But we'll see. I will watch the World Cup and then (writer) Paul Laverty, the wife and me will get together and we'll see what I we can do."

Loach, the son of an electrician, was born in June 1936 in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, where he attended grammar school before studying law at Oxford.

After briefly pursuing an acting career, he turned to directing, becoming a trainee at the BBC in 1963.

Within two years he had directed some of his most seminal work, including the TV adaptation of Up The Junction, a brutally honest view of London life.

A year later came Cathy Come Home, which single-handedly brought the social problem of homelessness to the forefront of the national consciousness.

His first feature film, Poor Cow, arrived in 1967 but two years later his second, Kes, enshrined his reputation in British film history.

Set in Yorkshire and featuring strong local dialects, it centred around a young boy's friendship with a kestrel but also featured an array of other memorable characters.

Despite the success of Kes, Loach did not embrace the mainstream, instead returning to TV to make a series of left-wing political dramas.

Jimmy's Hall, which opens on Friday and stars Sherlock actor Andrew Scott alongside lesser known Barry Ward, tells of the struggle to keep a dance hall open during the 1930s amid growing condemnation from the church.

Scott, who played Moriarty in the detective series, said he hoped Loach would delay any plans to retire.

He said: "I'm a big fan of Mr Loach. I keep saying I would have done the catering in this film to get on it, although I would've poisoned everyone."

Ward added: "He (Loach) thinks he's going to watch the World Cup and see how he feels.

"I hope he doesn't (retire), I think it's a very depressing through that there might be no more Ken Loach movies."

Press Association

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