Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 57: Thu Feb 26

Cathy Come Home (Loach, 1966): The Russet, 17 Amhurst Terrace, E8, 7.45pm


The Cinereal film club present a monthly 16mm film screening at The Russet arts cafe. Tonight's is Ken Loach's groundbreaking TV play Cathy Come Home.

Here is the Cinereal introduction:
Jeremy Sandford‘s drama about a young family’s slide into homelessness and poverty was a defining moment in 1960s television, demonstrating how far drama could influence the political agenda. The controversy generated by Cathy Come Home led to public outrage at the state of housing in Britain, and gave a welcome boost to the (coincidental) launch of the homelessness charity Shelter a few days after the play was first broadcast, as part of the BBC’s The Wednesday Play strand.

With its abandonment of the confines of the studio in favour of location filming, and its innovative use of documentary techniques – owing something to the Free Cinema movement associated with filmmakers like Lindsay Anderson and Karel ReiszCathy played an important part in the development of television drama at a time when writers were attempting to take the form into a new territory, distinct from its theatrical origins. Loach himself had been attempting to break free of the usual restrictions of TV drama since the early ’60s, notably with the series Diary of a Young Man (BBC, 1963) and an earlier Wednesday Play, ‘Up the Junction’ (BBC, tx. 3/11/1965), which also starred Carol White (as did his first cinema release, Poor Cow (1967)).

Here (and above) is an extract.

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