The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years

A great review.

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Everyone knows The Beatles. Whether you like their songs or not, it can’t be denied that this was a revolutionary time in rock music, and that the story of these young lads who became cultural icons is fascinating. There have been very few successful films about the group, however, as there’s no way that the entire story of The Beatles could be told in under two hours. Now, director Ron Howard makes a good attempt by focusing on one microcosm of this history – the band’s touring years – following them from grainy footage of the Cavern Club in Liverpool in 1962, to the phenomenon of their immense US tour in 1965-66.

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Brilliant Ken Loach wins the Palme D’or!!

The magnificent Ken Loach is still going strong at 80 Years old! He is still fighting for social justice. An amazing man. Ken’s films are invariably thought provoking and focus on telling the story from the victims side – it’s all about social justice.

He came out of retirement to produce the new film – I, Daniel Blake – because he thought that it needed saying.

The film went on to win the Palme D’Or.

Read all about this and listen to what Ken has to say on the BBC. There is an interview with the great man.

One of my heroes!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-36355313

The Film ‘SPOTLIGHT’ review – an indictment of the Catholic Church

I would thoroughly recommend Spotlight. It was a film that was extremely well done, absorbing and thought-provoking.

The film was based on a true story – the investigation made by the Boston Globe into cases of child abuse by priests in the Catholic Church.

What is absolutely unbelievable is how this was how extensive this was and the reactions of those who should have dealt with it.

6% of the total number of priests in the church are thought to be active paedophiles. That is a staggering number world-wide. In Boston alone it represents 90 priests. In that city alone over 1000 cases of child abuse were uncovered. Those 90 priests regularly abused young children (mainly boys but girls too). Some of them were raped. This includes children under the age of ten. One dreads to think of the numbers involved world-wide.

One of the most frightening aspects of the film was at the end where the lists of where abuse had occurred were put up on the screen.

What was spelt out was:

The way communities covered up what was being done to the children in their area. They covered it up. That is unbelievable. Their justification was that they could not allow a ‘couple of bad eggs’ undo all the good the church did.

Pressure was put on parents of abused children to keep quiet.

The church covered it up and put pressure on the authorities, community and parents.

The priests were simply moved to other areas where they could continue their abuse of children. They were not brought to justice. They were not removed from contact with children. It was as if the church condoned the behaviour. In some cases the priests were even promoted.

The priests, who presumably believed in the dogma of heaven and hell, did not feel that their perverse behaviour was wrong.

It was a very sobering film – extremely well scripted and acted.

By the finish I was not sure what was worse – the abuse or the horrendous way it was covered up.

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My favourite Film Director – Ken Loach.

Ken Loachgg

Ken is my favourite film director not because he has made the greatest films I have ever enjoyed, he hasn’t, but because of his humanity and consistency. His social realism is always important. He is always true to himself. He is a man who raises your awareness and forces you to think about issues. To do that in an entertaining manner is genius.

Ken is a man you can trust to have the right sensitivities and to put that into a film with heart and interest.

At the beginning we had the brilliance of Kes, Up the Junction and Poor Cow,

His Palm d’or winner – The Wind that Shakes the Barley was the best portrayal of the Irish situation ever captured on celluloid.

A look at the films I have greatly enjoyed such as:

Riff-Raff

Bread and Roses

My Name is Joe

Carla’s Song

Raining Stones

The Navigators

demonstrates the wide range of Ken’s social interest. If there is injustice Ken is there to highlight it.

I love his films and I love the man.

We need more people who are prepared to stand up and speak their mind, to highlight injustice and try to make the world a better place.

Ken has always done that. He has put his actions where his mouth was and become politically active in many arenas. I respect that.

He has integrity.

Ken is not a man who wanted to make great films, win lots of acclaim and make lots of money. He could have done all that if he wanted.

He is a man who wanted to make things better and who stood up for his principles – that was more important.

Ken is one of my heroes!