37. 11’09”01 September 11 (segment “United Kingdom”) (2002) Ken Loach’s contribution to this short-film package of film-makers’ responses to 9/11 is a perfectly serviceable account of a different September 11: an activist’s letter to America about the coup against President Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973. At the time it seemed jarring, and in retrospect very much not what was needed; but it’s not the worst of the bunch – González Iñárritu gets nul points for incorporating footage of people jumping from the collapsing World Trade Center in a sound/image collage. 36. The End of Arthur’s Marriage (1965) A somewhat supercilious satire on the property-owning middle classes that Loach later admitted he was the wrong director for: a little bit Fassbinder, a little bit Gurney Slade. It played into Loach’s favourite theme – the little man against the system – but the director’s instincts are … [Read more...] about Ken Loach – all his films ranked!
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Bakewell, Derbyshire You’d expect the home of the Bakewell pudding to know a thing or two about keeping its visitors cosy and well-fed, and in this attractive market town, you’re never more than a few steps away from a tea room or pub. And to walk off all the cake and ale, the spectacular Peak District is on the doorstep. In the run-up to Christmas, the town will be hosting a traditional Christmas market to coincide with its lights switch-on (26 & 27 Nov) and, new for 2016, a Winter Wonderland event (18-20 Nov and 9-11 Dec, advance tickets £5, under-fives free, bakewellshow.org), at the Bakewell Showground, with Christmas grotto, craft marquee, reindeer, market stalls, ice rink, funfair and fireworks. For something more sedate, check out the candlelit tours of Haddon Hall (selected dates 7–13 Dec, £22pp), a romantic medieval manor house which has starred in countless films. The nearby Chatsworth Estate (chatsworth.org) always puts on a good display for … [Read more...] about 10 of the best small UK towns for winter breaks
Los Angeles, California, 5 December “You got a choice to make, man. You could go straight on to heaven. Or you could turn right, into that.” We are in Los Angeles, in the heart of one of America’s wealthiest cities, and General Dogon, dressed in black, is our tour guide. Alongside him strolls another tall man, grey-haired and sprucely decked out in jeans and suit jacket. Professor Philip Alston is an Australian academic with a formal title: UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. General Dogon, himself a veteran of these Skid Row streets, strides along, stepping over a dead rat without comment and skirting round a body wrapped in a worn orange blanket lying on the sidewalk. The two men carry on for block after block after block of tatty tents and improvised tarpaulin shelters. Men and women are gathered outside the structures, squatting or sleeping, some in groups, most alone like extras in a low-budget dystopian movie. We come to an intersection, … [Read more...] about A journey through a land of extreme poverty: welcome to America