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 Post subject: Re: Looking For Eric
PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 8:14 pm 
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Any one see Eric on Jonaton Woss then?

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 Post subject: Re: Looking For Eric
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:32 am 
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Eric Cantona was a legendary goal-scorer for Manchester United in the '90s, but he was banned from the game for nine months after practising a kung-fu kick on a member of the crowd. He later held an extraordinary press conference in which he made an obscure comment about hungry seagulls. Perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised that he's teamed up with social-realist director Ken Loach for the much-acclaimed Looking For Eric. DS hears from Loach and Cantona about their shared vision and the significance of seagulls.

Eric, what was it about Ken that made you want to work with him?
Eric: "It was my two brothers, Jean-Marie and Joel, who wrote two pages of a story. They wanted to make a movie and we went to a French production company called Why Not, and the first name we put on the list was Ken Loach. It was a dream for all of us, but we tried and we met Ken, Paul [Laverty, screenwriter] and Rebecca O'Brien [producer] and they read the two pages and they said it was very inspired and with that we can do something. Paul had the freedom to write his own story which was better than the one we showed him."

What was your reaction, Ken, when you were approached by Eric?
Ken: "We thought it was a leg-pull really. We didn't believe it was true. I mean the reality was that Paul and I would have swum the English Channel to meet Eric... but it turned out to be true and it was very interesting because Eric's thought was to make a film about his connection to the fans which, as you know, is very special. We wondered for a little while whether we could really pull it off because you can't just make a film about someone because you admire their personality and skill, there has to be a real core and content to the film. Then Paul wrote the character of Eric Bishop and that was really the key that unlocked the set of relationships and the narrative and the imaginary connection to Eric [Cantona]."

Eric, you also reveal a talent for playing the trumpet in this film.
Eric: "Well, when I was banned [from playing football] for nine months I needed to focus on something else. I admire a lot Miles Davis and Chet Baker, and I like the sentiment, so I tried it. I practised for a few months and I stopped after. And then, when I spent time with Paul, speaking about different things, about life, he said, 'I don't know how, but it will be in the script.' So, just before shooting I started again, just for a few days. I tried my best."

Do you also see yourself as a bit of a philosopher? When you were banned you made that famous comment about seagulls following the trawler...
Eric: "I'm not a philosopher... No. Everyone tries to analyse what I said at the press conference about the seagulls, but I didn't want to give sense. I just wanted to put [across] the words. I think anybody can find sense in any situation; the meaning was not in the words, the meaning was just that I came in front of you and said something that means nothing. It's because they tried to make the situation very serious and I think, in life, there are plenty of serious things, but I don't think the world of football it's so serious. It's important to have distance from things about yourself. If we believe we are king or God we become crazy. Football is a game we all enjoy together because we all know it's just a game."

Ken, there are more serious issues underlying the film. The issue of youth violence and gun crime...
Ken: "I think it is a huge issue, particularly the issue of guns. Paul spent some time with the mothers who tried to keep their kids away from violence. I think, yes, violence is a great problem in society. Why? Well, we've built a society which is built on aggression, on greed, on acquisitiveness, we've destroyed the method, or the pattern for young people becoming adults. Centuries ago when I was young, a lad would become an apprentice, he'd be sent for a left-handed screwdriver, and things like that were a way of absorbing young people into the world of adulthood. We've destroyed all that and now we're surprised when kids who have no visible future, and who want all the things that we're told we're need, resort to violence or guns."

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 Post subject: Re: Looking For Eric
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:35 am 
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Director: Ken Loach
Screenwriters: Paul Laverty
Starring: Steve Evets, Eric Cantona, Stephanie Bishop, John Henshaw, Gerard Kearns, Stefan Gumbs, Matthew McNulty
Running time: 117 mins
Certificate: 15

Footballing icon Eric Cantona coaches a middle-aged pot-head in the game of life and gives Ken Loach a refreshing uplift as well. It was 'King Eric' who approached the kitchen-sink director with the idea of capturing the manic obsession of a football fan as the rest of his life falls apart. That hapless man, also named Eric, is played by the brilliantly unassuming Steve Evets, who takes to smoking weed as a way of coping with stress and begins seeing Cantona instead. It's a wonderfully surreal yarn which nonetheless stays rooted in the gritty real world as typically seen by Loach.

Postman Eric Bishop has lost his way, literally going off the road and nearly killing himself in the opening scene. He has two broken marriages behind him and is left with care of two step-children, Ryan and Jesse (Gerard Kearns and Stefan Gumbs), who are veering into gang life. Apart from skimming Ryan's stash of Class B drugs he consoles himself with memories of his first wife Lily (Stephanie Bishop) and replays of Eric Cantona doing the business for Manchester United in the early '90s. Fortunately he's also surrounded by a great group of friends at the sorting office, including the hilarious John Henshaw as the pseudo-intellectual Meatballs.

The camaraderie between the guys is what really ties the story together, bonded not just by their passion for Man U but a genuine affection for each another. One of the funniest, most endearing scenes finds Meatballs leading a group therapy session in Eric's living room. When Cantona finally makes his first appearance in the dim light of Eric's bedroom, it brings a different sort of familiarity and comfort (not just for Eric but for us too), like The Fonz walking onto the set of Happy Days. Despite being a little older, a little heavier and a lot hairier, his presence demands applause. So does the Gallic nonchalance with which he spouts endless platitudes, their bloated gravitas rivalling that famous quote about the seagulls following the trawler. That also means he stays remote, enigmatic; an unquestionably unreal figure.

Eric's reaction to Cantona underlines the comedy value, but that's also inherent to the pairing of these two: a no-nonsense Northerner and the flowery Frenchman. Evets even makes direct reference to the 'seagulls' quote and Cantona isn't afraid to send himself up - that is, except for a scene where he does an impression of Elvis and shies away from dancing on camera. In any case Eric derives something useful from what Cantona tells him, the most sincere of their exchanges being on the balcony of a housing estate where the legend admits to fear of the crowds going quiet. Eric makes moves towards reconciliation with Lily and, in less convincing style, takes on the street thugs who have roped Ryan into their shady dealings.

Even for the twinkle-toed legend that is Cantona, tackling the epidemic of street crime is overly ambitious, at least in a film like this. In fact he bows out for much of the final passage and his absence is acutely felt. Loach switches gear, bringing violence and ultimatums without really upping the pace. To resolve this conflict, he then reverts back to the earlier whimsy with a cheerfully madcap face-off between the post office crew and the gangsters. Because of its silliness, the film doesn't entirely work as a piece of social commentary. That doesn't matter too much; what it does do very effectively is promote a feeling that personal hardships can be overcome with a strong community network. And at the same time that wild individuality embodied by Cantona is joyous and inspiring. Like seagulls, people should be flocking to see this.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking For Eric
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:51 am 
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Went to see it last night. Excellent :thumbup:

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 Post subject: Re: Looking For Eric
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:29 pm 
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Anyone else seen it yet? Any good?

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 Post subject: Re: Looking For Eric
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:46 am 
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Sunday Channel 4 9pm :thumbup:

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 Post subject: Re: Looking For Eric
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:23 am 
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Had this on my disk for 2 years - finally watched it - loved it especially the scene at the mansion and the first group meditation lol - the dance scene was a little..er..risque! 7.5/10 :thumbup:

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 Post subject: Re: Looking For Eric
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:35 pm 
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"I am not a man, I am Cantona".
I've got it on my laptop, I went to watch in in Aberdeen in a 1990s United shirt, which went down well with the little old ladies for some reason.
Mrs Spock could only bear to watch it once though, she wanted to beat the cr*p out of his step sons and spent long periods shouting at the Telly.
Spoiler:
watch out though for Cantona being a member of the party at the attack on the mansion, that could imply all sorts of things

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 Post subject: Re: Looking For Eric
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:30 am 
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Got round to watching this last night. Only the recording missed the end. I got up to the ambulance bit. What happened after?


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 Post subject: Re: Looking For Eric
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:24 pm 
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filmed outside my local when i lived back in swinton

the buckley arms

(well 1 scene was anyway)


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