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May 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

British director Ken Loach has backed off from his previous announcement that he would retire after completing his latest film, Jimmy’s Hall. At a news conference at the Cannes Film Festival, where the movie is competing for the Palme d’Or, Loach conceded that he had made his original announcement while working under “maximum pressure.” However, he added, “It’s a hard job to give up.” Part of the problems he faced, he indicated, related to his determination to shoot the movie and edit it on film instead of using modern digital equipment. He described how he had to send out word to his fellow filmmakers that he had run out of a certain type of tape needed to keep soundtrack and film in sync. The company that responded to his SOS and provided the tape was, ironically, Pixar, the pioneer digital animation company. (His remarks were reminiscent of the complaints by directors when the switch from optical soundtracks to magnetic ones occurred. They expressed frustration about not being able to “see” the track. It should be noted that digital soundtracks now allow them to see it again.) The 77-year-old Loach burnishes his reputation as a firebrand with his new feature, which focuses on 1930s hall where Irish Communist leader Jimmy Gralton held raucous political meetings as well as dances and classes for children — thereby provoking the enmity of the local Catholic priest and his flock.