Kes (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Directed by Ken Loach
Starring David Bradley, Colin Welland, Brian Glover
Criterion | 1969 | 110 minutes | Rated PG-13
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
English: LPCM Mono
English: Dolby Digital Mono
Single 50GB Blu-ray Disc
Region A locked
The film contains brief nudity and scenes which may disturb young children.
Kes is a very British film, winning two BAFTA awards from its five nominations. Colin Welland won for best supporting actor and was the only professional actor in the film. David Bradley won for most promising newcomer.
The story deals with a troubled young boy, Billy Casper (Bradley). He is bullied by his older brother at home and similarly treated by his peers in school. He's insolent, not above lying or stealing and does little to encourage people to like him. He's a loner.
The setting is Barnsley, Yorkshire, in the north of England. If you have ever seen this part of England depicted in other films, you'll know that it's a poor area populated largely by working class people. In the 1960s, that was very much the case. Billy's brother worked in a coal mine, as did most of the town. The two had to share the same bed, so you can imagine how poor they were.
Anyone unfamiliar with British accents may find the thick Yorkshire dialect hard to follow. It's the main reason that Kes wasn't given a wide release outside England. I'm completely at home with the accent because my grandfather came from Barnsley. He often talked about his tough upbringing and it gives the film additional meaning for me.Read more ›
Very realistic socially (I grew up just a few miles from where this is filmed) and don't doubt that the PE teacher is based in reality.
Touching and emotional.
"Kes" will remind viewers of "Billy Elliot," since both films are set in the same location and feature young protagonists from blue-collar backgrounds. "Kes" is beautifully directed and young Mr. Bradley turns in a moving, believable performance.
The newly restored Blu-ray edition's extras include a making-of documentary, a 1993 profile of director Loach, a 1966 television feature by Loach, the alternate internationally released soundtrack, and a booklet with a critical essay.
A powerful, memorable work of art--one that might even change your life.
The film is not perfect in every detail, yet it's a masterpiece nonetheless. It's authentic. It's unpredictable. It's completely unsentimental, yet very moving. It evokes empathy. It leaves you feeling more alive.
KES is an unforgettable cinematic experience because it does what very few films even try to do: it gives you a glimpse of the soul, the incorruptible SOUL.
The central character, Billy, is bullied by his older brother Jud (always referred to as "our Jud"), who partway through the film is hinted to have a different relationship that is never made clear. The mother is no help, interested mainly in having a good time at nightclubs with her boyfriend. We soon meet Billy's employer, who like most adults in the film, does little but hurl verbal abuse at him. The teachers are no better, insulting and berating the students at every opportunity. This is encapsulated in a soccer game that evokes every memory of junior high school phys-ed class, and proves the dictum, "those who can, do; those who can't, teach; those who can't teach, teach P.E." Billy is revealed to be an inveterate thief, taking whatever he wants without a second thought. The kestrel is taken from a nest in a wall on a local farmer's property.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie is excellent - and reflects the kind of culture i grew up in when i lived in England. A must if you want to know what it is like for someone who does not fit the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
A beautiful movie about a boy and his bird and bullying in years gone by.... It'll make you cry.Published 2 months ago by reviwer
Absorbing story about a boy who has few almost no positive influences among the adults. Poverty and being part of an underclass don't help either. Read morePublished 5 months ago by gavin o'connor
I went to the school where this was filmed. I knew Brian Glover, the actor who was really a teacher in real life (and a Professional Wrestler) through his daughter who went to the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by GeoffU
The sound quality is poor, and the subtitles (which you are completely dependent on unless you have no problems understanding mumbled working class northern english) is not... Read morePublished 8 months ago by K. Sjurseth
Sympathetic portrait of a young man growing up in a dismal environment in the north of England. As an American i found the Yorkshire accent close to impenetrable and probably... Read morePublished 8 months ago by JDC