TOP 5 SOCCER FILMS

BRAZIL – In honor of the World Cup Studio Exec has taken time out of his busy schedule to use his top 5 Soccer Films. 

1. Escape to Victory – It has Pele, Michael Caine and Sylvester Stallone as a goal keeper. Directed by John Huston and co-starring Max Von Sydow it’s actually better than soccer itself and proves decisively that Soccer won the war and not tennis as the French insist.

2. Kes – Not really about football but there’s a great football match in the middle with a superlative Brian Glover. See also Gregory’s Girl

3. Zidane – A documentary about everyone’s favorite headbutter of Italians.

4. Bend it Like Beckham – On the one hand it was a popular light comedy about a young British girl’s ambition to play football despite her traditional Indian family’s protests. On the other, it introduced us to the talents of Kiera Knightley.  

5. The Damned United – Michael Sheen plays Brian Clough, a football manager of something called Leeds United Football Club (a fictional team?) who seems hell bent on pissing everybody off, to hilarious results. 

For more lists of things with the number 5 in the title Click Here.  

5 FACTS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT KEN LOACH

NUNEATON – Ken Loach, the veteran British filmmaker, is a character surrounded by enigma and mystery. What are his politics? No one knows.

What does he think about the Israeli/Palestinian question? You’ve got me. When’s Sex and the City 3 coming out? Who can say? Well actually, the Studio Exec FACT SQUAD can! So here are 5 FACTS to rain like Kes stones upon your Land and Freedom.

1. Ken Loach began his career in British television where he made a name for himself creating and directing the shocking social realism of Bagpus. A drama that stunned British viewers with its explicit depiction of a young girl seeking advice from stuffed cat and a factory full of slave mice workers

 2. Ken’s first film was the hugely successful film Kes, but according to novelist and screenwriter Barry Hines the film was almost ruined by Loach’s experimental approach. Hines told the Radio Times: “Ken was convinced that Colin Welland should play the kestrel. I disagreed, Colin disagreed, but Ken insisted. It was only on the first day of filming when Colin – dressed in a feather suit – perched gingerly on David Bradley’s arm, that Ken took one look through the viewfinder and realized it wasn’t going to work.”

 3. Loach has always maintained that most of his films including Riff Raff and Raining Stones have been inspired by his deep hatred of the Working Class. ‘They are stupid, smelly and all they ever do is watch X Factor,’ he recently remarked. (Click Here for a full interview).

 4. Although a vocal critic of the Israeli treatment of Palestinians, what many people don’t know is that Ken Loach once played in goal for Israeli national football team. It is believed that Loach’s hostility to Israel only began when he was dropped from the team on discovery that he was actually born in Nuneaton and had British citizenship.

 5. Although speculation is rife that his next feature film Jimmy’s Hall may well be his last, Loach has in fact already film Sex and the City 3 (Click Here for more), but the studio is holding it up because of ‘tonal inconsistencies and an ambivalence towards the benefits of free market capitalism’, whatever that means.

 For more FACTS click here.

BREAKFASTS WITH ASSHOLES: 22. KEN LOACH

LONDON – Ken Loach arrives in the dining room of the Ritz, London, surrounded by his massive entourage: security guards, PAs, hair consultants, spectacle polishers and Socialist Worker newspaper vendors.

He’s talking on his iPhone with Bruce Willis while waving his minders to push away the delegation from Venezuela. ‘Ciao, ciao, Brucie, M’Wah!’ he says as he plumps down into the chintzy armchair reserved especially for him and gives me a jaded look over. ‘I suppose you’ll do.’

So Ken, could I just ask…

I say, call me Mr. Loach old boy! One doesn’t do informality. One would think we were at Claridges! The very idea!

I’m sorry Mr. Loach.

Think nought of it, old fellow. Garcon! Garcon! Yes, quails eggs and caviar. Pronto.

So, Mr. Loach how do you feel about being awarded the Golden Bear Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Berlin Film Festival. 

Delighted, obviously. Delighted. T’is a gong and even at my age one feels very humble to be recognized. Plus the Jerries are about as far from those blasted Israelis as it’s possible to get. So there’s that!

You have made a career of making politically challenging films.

It all started when I was passed over for Dr. No and that talentless hack Terrence Young got the gig. I thought it’s the bloody Carry On films all over again. I had been slated to direct Carry On Nurse but that tart Gerald Thomas slipped in. After that Dilys Powell said ‘Do political’. I said ‘Dilys dear, I don’t my Whigs from me Harold Wilson’, but I read a copy of the Morning Star and quicker than you can say Trotsky I’d made Kes.   

And you never looked back.

I was always trying to get something else. I would have loved to have made Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines or Sex and the City 2, but by the time my name had got about I was pigeonholed. All I could do was stuff about the grubby working class, workshy layabouts to a man. Sitting around drinking tea, and trying to diddle their betters out of their land and wealth.  

So you’re saying you don’t actually agree with the political point of the view that your films seem to subscribe to?

Karl [addressing one of his security team], Karl, pray, strike this hack roughly about the top of the head.

Ouch.

No, young man. I do not subscribe to the Bolshevik nonsense that some read into my films. My films, for me, represent a social comedy of the stupidity of the hapless lower orders. Raining Stones: idiot wants a dress for his daughter’s confirmation. The Wind that Shakes the Barley: bog thick Murphys knocking seven shades out of each other for who knows what. Land and Freedom: ditto but with Spaniards.

 Some have said that your next film might be your last.

Indeed, though if Sarah Jessica Parker wishes for me to help her with Sex and the City 3 I will be more than glad to proffer my services. 

Jimmy’s Hall will be released in 2014 and Sex and the City 3 in 2015.