Whisky Magazine Issue 103
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Ken Loach is one of the finest filmmakers the UK has produced. Neil Ridley caught up with him on the eve of the release of his next film, The Angels' Share, a story of how whisky impacts on a group of young Glaswegians
From creating the striking on-screen persona of the young, mischievous Billy Casper in Kes, to casting a surprisingly philosophical Eric Cantona in Looking For Eric, Ken Loach has always highlighted nuances of the human condition that we so often fail to notice. His films have not only won critical acclaim (The Wind That Shakes The Barley set in 1920s civil war-torn Ireland took the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival), but have helped bring attention to some uncomfortable subject matters as well as often highlighting abrasive personal relationships. During the past decade Loach has built up a solid relationship with Scottish screenwriter Paul Laverty and their new film, The Angels' Share, focuses on the personal journey of discovery into single malt whisky from the perspective of a young Glaswegian delinquent, Robbie, an ex-offender and new father. What starts out as an unlikely encounter soon develops into a wonderfully funny, heart warming tale of hope and a route to a new life, away from the troubles encountered on some of Glasgow's most disaffected council estates. As well as featuring brilliant performances from a virtually unknown cast of actors, it also showcases Whisky Magazine's very own Charlie MacLean as the out-going Scotch whisky expert, Rory McAllister.
As I sit down with Ken Loach on the eve of the film's first preview screenings, I'm keen to find out where the initial idea to feature whisky as the central plot vehicle came from. “Well Paul a...