In the past week I’ve discovered that not one but two bods of my acquaintance used to work with Dave Johns. It won’t be long before I won’t need to tell you who Dave Johns is. He’s the leading actor in Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake.
I gather Dave Johns was and still is a nice bloke. One of my mates said “he’s playing himself” in the film. I’m not surprised to hear he’s being himself in the film. It’s a drama documentary portraying real life Britain in 2016.
I saw I, Daniel Blake last night at Whitley Bay’s Jam Jar Cinema. I enjoyed playing “spot the Geordie location” the way I still do with Get Carter, Stormy Monday and old episodes of Spender. I felt a thrill seeing Newcastle’s City library on Jam Jar’s screen last night. It made me feel proud to think of Ken Loach choosing Newcastle for I, Daniel Blake.
It seems like everyone I know is talking about I, Daniel Blake at present. Most of these conversations start with praise for the film and all the actors followed by “Spot the Location.” Then the conversatons move onto either Cathy Come Home or Kes or both.
Loach has influenced several generations of us with his earlier work and I’m certain I, Daniel Blake will affect many filmgoers of all ages and in other countries. Loach’s clear message resonates beyond Tyneside and the UK.