Hidden Agenda

Dir:Ken Loach

DoP: Clive Tickner

Year: 1990

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Things To Consider

  • Some people probably think it’s strange to feature Loach on this site, as a director whose focus is always on the character and larger social issues they represent, few people would accuse Loach of being a master visualist. This is one of the reasons I wanted to feature him, it’s important to look at filmmakers who don’t have a distinct and loud style (Kubrick, Anderson, et el) and see how their imagery is distinct to them.
  • When a filmmaker put their character over visuals they are communicating a clear message about what is important to them. For the most part Hidden Agenda is shot in this simple bare bones style, but there’s in fact some interesting techniques that really pop because they’re surrounded by so much “realism”
  • Look at the night time phone call, Cunningham is completely backlit with a strange red and blue light, these colours immediately suggest the lights of a police car and underpin the sense of being watched, Cunningham himself is barely visible as he needs to act in complete secrecy.
  • When Ingrid (Frances McDormand) must go to identify the body she’s in a room with this soft yellow light. It’s a shot that doesn’t look like anything else in the movie, and suggests a sense of disconnection Ingrid is facing while dealing with Paul’s death.

Further Research


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