Archer, N (2021) Ken Loach and the Comedians: The Politics of ‘Acting’. Journal of British Cinema and Television, 18 (3). pp. 280-302. ISSN 1743-4521

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This article explores a gap in the scholarship on Ken Loach’s filmmaking, focusing on his casting of comedians in central roles, and the specific impacts of such casting strategies across Loach’s work. While the relevance of such casting to Loach’s project has been anecdotally acknowledged in criticism, this article recommends a more systematic historical and aesthetic approach. After summarizing the theoretical considerations around acting as a practice and its ‘problem’ within Loach’s terms, I consequently look at the broader institutional and political contexts of actor preparation training and casting in British television and film since Loach’s emergence as a director in the 1960s, and the relevance of comedian casting within these. Drawing on a sample of Loach’s films, I then offer a more systematic analysis of how the comedian’s body, voice and action signify, examining how such ‘realist’ performances respond to the cultural conventions of ‘trained’ actor practice, as well as the narrative and broader institutional conventions of comedy performance in mainstream film.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final version of this article and all relevant information related to it, including copyrights, can be found online via the journal publisher
Uncontrolled Keywords: actor training, casting, comedians, Ken Loach, realism
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2021 09:38
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2021 11:57

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