Wednesday, October 26, 2016

With “I, Daniel Blake”, director Ken Loach keeps intact his anger and humanism – Télé

Always combative, the filmmaker of 80 years tells of the struggle of Daniel Blake, an unemployed carpenter against the injustices of an administration that is callous. His second Palme d’or.

for 80 years, Ken Loach has not fallen arms. Not yet. He has kept intact his anger, his empathy, his humanism. Deaf to the modes and postures cynical, he painted, again, in Moi, Daniel Blake, ” his ” England, that of the Riff-Raff, Raining Stones or My name is Joe : the people that nobody, except him, did not call for the working class. All the forgotten of the system — the victims of all the crises, all the policies of austerity — it is the only one, now, on his island of extreme neo-liberalism, to defend your camera in hand, without anything letting go. This isolation, this ‘last of the Mohicans” that permeates his film of bitterness that has earned him the Palme d’or (the second after the one that crowned The wind rises in 2006) in may of last year, at the Cannes film festival.

Who is Daniel Blake, otherwise Ken Loach himself ? It is found everywhere in this social drama, the portrait of an indignant decided to fight until his last breath. Unequal struggle : on one side, a carpenter, a widower sexagenarian Newcastle. On the other, an administration that is semi-privatized, made her mad and perverse by its hunting to the so-called ” assisted “… On paper it all looks simple : Daniel Blake is too sick to work. It is the formal opinion of the doctors, after a heart attack which was nearly his death. But, with the sub-contractors of the safely local, these “health professionals” hiding behind their discourse automaton, and their bad faith, his case turns into a nightmare. After a series of questionnaires totally inadequate, the verdict is in : if Daniel Blake has his two arms and his two legs, that is, that it is valid. He refuses, therefore, any compensation… Now without resources, he is left with only one solution absurd, kafkaesque : try to hit the unemployment allowance, by proving that he looks for a job… that he will prohibit exercise. The circle (very) vicious continues to turn, in the offices, job center uk, other nest of professionals dedicated. Director Ken Loach describes their methods of sabotage with a precision of a quasi-documentary, as he has always been able to shoot, at close range, the hard angles of the corporation : a voice without a tone phone, a vigil, or a consultant to the attitudes of mechanical. Individuals become interchangeable, as cold and gray as the plywood of their offices, almost laughable force of to be claims.

Me, Daniel Blake of Ken Loach – extract

indeed, it borders on comedy at times, as the hero of this ordeal ordinary brings energy, warmth and humor desperate in the battle. His kindness, his jokes, his daily gestures make it close, deeply endearing, a bit old-fashioned, almost obsolete. Not only he does not know how to use a computer at a time when anything is computerized — it has to be seen planted in front of the keyboard, like a chicken in front of a sewing machine, in one of these scenes to be both funny and heart-breaking as Ken Loach has the secret. But it is the survivor of the good old Welfare State, the welfare State in the English, once torpedoed by Margaret Thatcher, the bête noire of the director. When Daniel meets Katie, a young single mother destitute, taking it also in the chopper administrative, he offers his help. Free and disinterested. And they now cling to one another like shipwrecked. This story of the brotherhood of man proves, once again, at which point Ken Loach is a great director of actors. He knows how to pick them novices, in the heart of the real, as in the past, Crissy Rock, shattering the ” Ladybird “. But he knows, also, make the most of professional actors, like comedian Dave Johns, the hero of Moi, Daniel Blake, and Hayley Squires, Katie wide-eyed fawn.

it is by it that the filmmaker reminds us that it is matter, here, of life or death. Of the real hunger and real suffering, with their wake of exclusions and humiliations. In a food bank, Katie, who has not eaten for several days, collapsed… This scene heartbreakingly evokes both the victorian England than today. So, to Ken Loach, to tell us that in the modern world, this is not Daniel Blake who is anachronistic. It is the social violence.

Paul Laverty, the alter-ego
That would be Ken Loach without his compatriot and accomplice for twenty years, the screenwriter Paul Laverty ? It is up to the activist of the rights of the human being, his talent for strong characters and complex, that it must be the best films of the director : the poignant story of an ex-alcoholic scottish (My name is Joe, 1998), the four hundred blows of a teenager unloved (Sweet Sixteen, 2002), the tearing step of two revolutionary irish (The wind rises, 2006) or the trials and tribulations of a band of delinquents converted in the whisky (The angels, 2012)… Me, Daniel Blake is the fourteenth collaboration of the two to be inseparable.


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