Looks and Smiles

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Looks and Smiles
Directed by Ken Loach
Produced by Raymond Day
Irving Teitelbaum
Written by Barry Hines
Starring Graham Green
Cinematography Chris Menges
Edited by Stephen Singleton
Release date
12 September 1981
Running time
104 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Looks and Smiles is a 1981 British drama film directed by Ken Loach. It is based on the novel of the same name, written by Barry Hines. The film was entered into the 1981 Cannes Film Festival, where Loach won the Young Cinema Award.[1]

The film was shot in black-and-white entirely on location in Sheffield.[2] There is some Yorkshire dialect in the film, although not as much as in previous Loach-Hines collaborations such as Kes and The Price of Coal. Despite this, the review in the New York Times complained that "a great deal of the dialogue remains unintelligible to the American ear."[3]

Ken Loach considered the film a failure and turned to making documentaries for several years afterwards,[4] saying that the film failed to "create the outrage in the audience that should have been there".[5] He also considered it "the end of an era" as he avoided long camera shots in subsequent films.[5] A 2016 Guardian article wrote, "Even the most devoted fan found 1981’s Looks & Smiles painfully miserable".[6] In support of the film, it has been held up as one of Ken Loach's film that does not propagate one political view heavily, such as Fatherland[7] or Land and Freedom[8]

Plot[edit]

A disadvantaged young man tries to get by in Margaret Thatcher's England. Writing in his book The Cinema of Ken Loach, Jacob Leigh comments: "Looks and Smiles reveals the depression people felt in the industrial North of England in the 1980s; but it is as depressing as Mick's life. ... Loach's characteristic attention to detail renders the film a period piece."[2]

Cast[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Looks and Smiles". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 
  2. ^ a b Leigh, Jacob (2002), The Cinema of Ken Loach: Art in the Service of the People, Wallflower Press, ISBN 978-1903-36432-1, p.130
  3. ^ Canby, Vincent (5 October 1981). "KENNETH LOACH'S 'LOOKS AND SMILES'". New York Times. USA. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  4. ^ Leigh, Jacob (2002), The Cinema of Ken Loach: Art in the Service of the People, Wallflower Press, ISBN 978-1903-36432-1, p.142
  5. ^ a b Leigh, Jacob (2002), The Cinema of Ken Loach: Art in the Service of the People, Wallflower Press, ISBN 978-1903-36432-1, p.118
  6. ^ Hattenstone, Simon (15 October 2016). "Ken Loach: 'If you're not angry, what kind of person are you?'". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 23 November 2016. 
  7. ^ http://tech.mit.edu/V109/N28/looks.28a.html MIT The Tech: Volume 109 >> Issue 28 : Tuesday, June 27, 1989, Kenneth Loach's Looks and Smiles movingly informs British working class
  8. ^ https://libcom.org/library/dubious-virtues-propaganda-ken-loachs-land-freedom-gilles-dauv%C3%A9 The dubious virtues of propaganda: Ken Loach's "Land and Freedom" - Gilles Dauvé 2014

External links[edit]