Capital Celluloid 2023 — Day 255: Wed Sep 13

Sweet Sixteen (Loach, 2002): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 6pm

This is part of the 'Acting Hard' season at BFI Southbank, which explores representations of working-class masculinity in British cinema from the Thatcher era to the present day. This is a 35mm screening and the film is also being shown on September 25th. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Ken Loach’s 2002 feature about a poor 15-year-old boy living in a seaside town in western Scotland is a real heartbreaker; like The Bicycle Thief and Rebel Without a Cause, it confronts the tragedy of someone trying to be a good person who finds that the world he inhabits won’t allow it. Liam (played by teenage soccer pro Martin Compston) has a mother in prison; his sister loves him but can’t understand why he gets into so many fights, just as his mother?s lover can’t understand why he refuses to slip drugs to his mother. Paul Laverty’s script, which won the best screenplay prize at Cannes, never sentimentalizes Liam, yet it fully draws us into his world. I’m not prone to like socially deterministic films of this kind, yet Loach is so masterful at squeezing nuance and truth out of the form that I was completely won over.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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