Durham Magazine recently had the privilege of interviewing the legendary British filmmaker Ken Loach. Renowned for his poignant and socially conscious cinema, Loach, at 87, remains as passionate as ever about his craft and the stories he tells. The interview provided deep insights into his personal connection with filmmaking, his latest work “The Old Oak,” based in Easington, County Durham.
The Personal Touch in Filmmaking
Loach emphasised the intensely personal nature of his directing style. He spoke candidly about the challenges of filmmaking at his age, noting that one’s faculties inevitably diminish over time. For him, filmmaking is not just about directing actors or managing a set; it’s about building personal relationships with everyone involved, from actors with minor roles to the technical crew. Loach believes that these relationships are crucial in creating an organic and connected filmmaking process. He remarked, “You can’t do that by chatting to a megaphone or asking a runner to go up and say it because it’s not personal enough.”
“The Old Oak” – A Testament to Teamwork and Talent
Discussing “The Old Oak,” Loach highlighted the camaraderie and comfort evident among the cast and crew. He praised the performances, particularly mentioning the Syrian actress Ebla, whose professionalism and warmth significantly impacted the team. Loach’s ability to create a set environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and part of a cohesive unit is a testament to his directorial prowess and human touch.
The Last Film?
When asked whether “The Old Oak” would be his final film, Loach indicated that it might very well be, given his age and the demands of directing. However, he didn’t entirely rule out future projects. Loach explained that his films often emerge from conversations and relationships, not just from picking an issue to address. He seeks stories that need to be told, ones that illuminate, share, reveal, or comment on human experiences. It’s a nuanced process that goes beyond merely making a film about an issue.
“The Old Oak” Release
Exciting news for fans and cinephiles alike, “The Old Oak” is available for digital download and purchase on Blu-ray and DVD. This release offers audiences the opportunity to experience Loach’s latest masterpiece from the comfort of their own home.
Loach’s conversation with Durham Magazine was more than just a reflection on his current work; it was a window into the mind of a filmmaker deeply committed to his craft and the stories he believes need to be told. While “The Old Oak” may be his last film, Loach’s impact on British cinema and his approach to storytelling will continue to influence filmmakers and audiences alike. His dedication to exploring societal issues through a deeply human lens ensures that his legacy in the world of cinema will endure for years to come.