Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 9th, 2016
BluRay released: August 1st, 2016
Approximate running time: 112 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Studiocanal
Region Coding: Region B
Retail Price: £17.99 (UK)
Synopsis: A young draughtsman romantic courtship of co-worker turns his life upside down when she reveals to him that she is pregnant with his child. Wanting to do the right thing he agrees to settle down and marry her. From there things take a turn for the worse as his quickly forms a resentment towards his wife for forcing him into a life he never really wanted.
A Kind of Loving was directed by John Schlesinger whose other notable films include, Billy Liar, Darling, Far from a Maddening Crowd and Midnight Cowboy. Key Collaborators on A Kind of Loving include, cinematographer Denys Coop (This Sporting Life, Inserts), screenwriters Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall (Whistle Down Below, The Valiant).
In the late 1950’s and into the early part of the 1960’s, kitchen sink drama’s a new genre about angry young men unhappy with society’s standards rose to prominence in UK cinema. Some of this genres notable films include, Look Back in Anger and A Taste of Honey.
A Kind of Loving was the first of two kitchen sink drama’s directed by John Schlesinger. With the other film being Billy Liar. With that being said, though they belong to the same genre. These two films are far from mirror images of each other, since Billy Liar has a humorous side that is all but devoid from A Kind of Loving, a film that never strays to far from its melodrama roots.
The thing that immediately grabs you while watching A Kind of Loving is that is a lot more going on beneath the surface then what one normal gets from a love story. And though the film’s primary trajectory is the evolution of Victor and Ingrid’s relationship. There is also a strong focus of how the events which unfold affect Victor and shape his outlook on life. It is so refreshing to see a film that so richly explores what is inside a man and not just show what he wants the world to perceive him as.
From a production stand point this film excels in every way. The narrative is well constructed, the main characters are well defined and pacing is never an issue. Another strength of this film include its visuals which add sufficiently to the mood of the story at hand. A few standout moments include, the aftermath of the scene where Victor and Ingrid make love for the first time. And the scene where Ingrid reveals to Victor that she is pregnant.
Performance the entire cast right on down to even the role players are all great in their respective roles. With this film’s standout performance coming from Alan Bates (Women in Love) in the role of Victor. He delivers an extraordinary performance that perfectly captures that essence of the type of protagonists that have since become synonymous with kitchen sink dramas. Another notable performance includes June Ritchie (This is my Street) in the role of Ingrid, who delivers an utterly convincing performance.
A Kind of Loving comes on a 50 GB dual layer (45.3 GB) BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The image looks sharp, black and contrast levels remain solid throughout. Also grain looks natural and there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and removable English SDH subtitles have also been included. The audio is in great shape, dialog is always clear and everything sounds balanced.
Extras for this release include, an interview with writer / broadcaster Stuart Maconie (18 minutes 48 seconds), a vintage audio interview with director John Schlesinger from 1988 (20 minutes 59 seconds), a featurette titled A Kind of Loving & The British New Wave (10 minutes 54 seconds) and John Schlesinger’s Oscar winning short film Terminus (33 minutes 28 seconds).
Topics discussed in the interview with Stuart Maconie include, cinema from Manchester, British New Wave movies, A Kind of Loving, key moments and themes explored in the film and what happened to the British New Wave?
Topics discussed in the interview with John Schlesinger include, what initial peaked his interest in filmmaking, how he started making films by age eleven, how he got involved in making A Kind of Loving and the difficulties trying to make Darling.
Topics discussed in the featurette include, the definition of “Kitchen Sink” cinema, working class characters in these type of films, A Kind of Loving and the British New Wave.
Overall A Kind of Loving gets an exceptional release from StudioCanal, highly recommended.
Note: This film is also being released by Studiocanal on DVD.