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The slides from the session on KES

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KES KES Presentation Transcript

  • KESSocial Class – Under Privilege
  • Learning OutcomesTo examine the representation ofeducation in KESTo explore and discuss the representationworking class experiences of educationTo consider how the reproduction ofsocial inequality is told through KES
  • 1969Dir – Ken LoachAdapted from Barry Hines– ‘A Kestrel for a Knave’Ex Barnsley SchoolTeacher
  • PlotBilly Casper is physically and verbally abused byhis brother, Jud, ignored by his mother, andbullied by his peers. Hopelessly fighting hisdestiny which is to leave school to go down t’pitBilly takes a young kestrel from its nest, and,through training it, forges, perhaps, the mostsignificant bond in his life. The touchingtransformation does not, sadly, last, and we canonly assume that Billy’s brutal fate, too issealed.
  • RANDOM FACTS
  • Kestrel Chicks Freeman HardyRonald Grant Archive Willis
  • Kestrel DeathDavid Bradley told one kestrel wouldbe killed for final scenesDeep distress of Caspar is Bradley’sgenuine distressIn fact Kestrel used died of naturalcauses
  • LOCATION
  • Setting Barnsley & Hoyland, South Yorkshire Leeds, West Yorkshire Bell Woods & Tankersley Skiers Spring Colliery, Hoyland
  • SchoolSt Helen’s SecondaryModern School, AthersleyLocal school childrenauditionedCharacter of Head teacherplayed by Head
  • RELEASE
  • "the picture the money-men wont let the public see."1968 - Completed by Kestrel Films1969 - Cannes Film Festival1970 – Northern release
  • RankToo problematicNo upbeat endingYorkshire accent
  • "I understood Hungarian better""We got a foreign-language filmhere"
  • THE PRESS
  • The Morning Star "When is the public going to be allowed the pleasure of seeing Ken Loachs Kes? . . . The trouble appears to lie with the powers-that-be of the Rank circuit. As usual theyve gone into a blue funk at the sight of a film that doesnt conform to their narrow preconceptions of box-office success. ... But if [they] had an ounce of sensitivity for cinema, and for public taste, theyd be falling over themselves to give this one a booking.”Nina Hibben
  • The Listener“The Caging of KES”Gavin Miller
  • The Observer “Banished to Yorkshire...the picture they wouldn’t let London look at”Penelope Mortimer
  • The Guardian"there is no star, no sex, noparticular violence, nospectacular death anddestruction . . . no sentimentalgush . . . and no easy moral orblack and white pat solution."Keith Dewhirst 1969
  • THE UNCRITICAL TURN
  • Daily Express"an absolute joy"(March 19th 1970)
  • The Sun"a beautiful, gritty, heart-shredding film" (March 19th 1970)
  • Sunday Mirror "Film of the week, and the best British picture for an age"March 22nd 1970
  • Daily Telegraph"may well be regardedas, artistically, one of themost accomplished films ofits kind in the whole ofBritish post-war production"March 20th 1970
  • Stephenson“An unconscious syllogism seemed tobe working itself out in the minds ofsome writers: Kes had trouble withthe distributors because it was artisticand good; it was still having troublewith the distributors, therefore it mustbe superb.” (1973: 52)
  • REPRESENTATION OF EDUCATION
  • Education“Unresolved educational crisis: (Jonesand Davies, 2001: 141)Ideological representation ofeducationThe film’s attempt to educate
  • Loach & the working class subject Films are dialectical Focus on class conflict
  • Loach:“about people’s attempts to bearticulate or to come to someunderstanding of theirsituation; their attempts todevelop a class consciousness”Fuller, 1998: 11-12
  • School as a Social StructureSchool as a Social StructureCorrespondence to WorkClass ConsciousnessReproduction of Inequality
  • CorrespondenceBowles and Gintis (1976)Schooling in Capitalist America
  • DISCONTINUITIES
  • Jud’s journey to work - Light, bright countrysideJud’s workplace – dark, dismal collierySchool assembly – distinct hierarchyDistance between the school structure & lives of thechildren
  • Break with Realism1940’s & 50’sPerspective of the middle classCreation of a new genre ‘gritty realism’Sense of hopelessnessStructure determines individuals
  • SignificanceInvolves a problematising of middleclass sympathyWorking class lived experience isprivilegedMiddle class sympathetic characterscannot truly empathise
  • CONFLICT
  • AgencyConsider: –Paul Willis & Learning to LabourPupil culture vs Teacher culture
  • ConflictBilly vs MotherBilly vs JudBilly vs SchoolHead vs this generation
  • Youth of TodayI’ve taught in this city for over 30 years. I’ve taughtsome of your parents- your father, McDowell! - in theold slum schools in the city, before they built thiswonderful school, Things are no better now than theywere then. I just can’ t understand this generation. Ithought I knew something about young people - Ishould be able to, you know, with my experience. Butwith you - no! It just seems a complete waste ofmoney and a waste of time. And it’s a waste of timetalking to you now. You aren’ t even listening, are youMcDowell? . . .Yours is the generation that neverlistens . . . .
  • Bibliography• Bowles, S and Gintis, H (1976) Schooling in Capitalist America, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul• Fuller, G (1998) `Loach on Loach’ (London: Faber & Faber)• Stephenson, W (1973) ‘"Kes" and the Press’, Cinema Journal, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 48-55• Jones, K.; Davies, H (2001) ‘Representing education 1969- 80: notes on `Kes’ and `Grange Hill’’, History of Education, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp 141- 151