Looking For Eric

Looking for Eric marks the ninth collaboration between director Ken Loach and writer Paul Laverty, the British filmmaking duo known for their trademark blend of harsh social reality, humour and optimism. If Looking for Eric tows much the same line as the other eight films, which concern themselves with fundamental British issues such as unemployment, social injustice and racism, the film also has a fantastical aspect to it which sets it apart from the others. Moreover, the source of this fantastical element is a real character, played himself in the film: Eric Cantona, the renowned French footballer who played for teams in Britain for years. Cantona materializes before a man in his most desolate hours and guides him with his own idiosyncratic philosophy; for this is a man whose life seems an almost unmitigated disaster, a man who knows no love or respect from his family and whose only surviving passion in life is football and his first love at high school. For all its title, the film portrays one of those characters of western cinema who is ‘doomed to lose’, a character looking for a way out and finding it through a famous person ingrained in his subconscious, a star he admires. Ken Loach, known more generally for his naturalist filmmaking, tends this time to avoid direct criticism of the social environment, and focuses instead on the individual’s struggle to change his life through force of will. Thanks to Cantona’s charisma, a highly credible performance by Steve Evets, who plays the film’s lead character, a satire of the ‘doomed to lose’ and ‘romantic love’ archetypes, Laverty’s superb dialogue and, of course, Ken Loach’s exquisite direction, Looking for Eric has the audience convulsed with inward laughter. The comedy factor has never been so potent in any Laverty-Loach collaboration to date. Alin Taşçıyan

Ken Loach

Paul Laverty

Barry Ackroyd

Jonathan Morris

Canto Bros. Productions

Eric Cantona
John Henshaw
Stephanie Bishop
Steve Evets

George Fenton

15th Festival on Wheels