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Looking for Eric

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Title: Looking for Eric  
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Subject: Ken Loach, Eric Cantona, Droylsden, Melbourne International Film Festival, John Henshaw, List of drug films, IFC Films, Gerard Kearns, Lucy-Jo Hudson, List of films set in Manchester
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Looking for Eric

Looking for Eric
File:Looking for eric ver2.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Ken Loach
Produced by Rebecca O'Brien
Written by Paul Laverty
Screenplay by Paul Laverty
Starring Eric Cantona
Steve Evets
Lucy-Jo Hudson
Matthew McNulty
Gerard Kearns
Stephanie Bishop
John Henshaw
Stefan Gumbs
Music by George Fenton
Cinematography Barry Ackroyd
Editing by Jonathan Morris
Release date(s)
Running time 116 minutes
Country United Kingdom
France
Belgium
Italy
Spain
Language English
Budget £4m
Box office $11,546,932[1]

Looking for Eric is a 2009 French/Belgian/British/Spanish film about the escape from the trials of modern life that football and its heroes can bring for its fans. It was written by screen writer Paul Laverty and directed by English director Ken Loach. The film's cast includes former professional footballer Eric Cantona and former bassist with The Fall, Steve Evets.

Director Ken Loach said of the film, "We wanted to deflate the idea of celebrities as more than human. And we wanted to make a film that was enjoying the idea of what you and I would call solidarity, but what others would call support for your friends really, and the old idea that we are stronger as a team than we are as individuals."[2]

Plot

Eric Bishop is a football fanatic postman whose life is descending into crisis. Looking after his granddaughter is bringing him into contact with his ex-wife, Lily, whom he abandoned after the birth of their daughter. At the same time, his stepson Ryan is hiding a gun under the floorboards of his bedroom for a violent drugs baron. At his lowest moments Bishop considers suicide. But after a short meditation session with fellow postmen in his living room, and smoking cannabis stolen from his stepson, hallucinations bring forth his footballing hero, the famously philosophical Eric Cantona, who gives him advice. His relationship with Lily improves dramatically. Bishop finds the gun and confronts his stepson. Ryan admits to his involvement with the drugs gang, and Bishop attempts to return the gun to the gangster. He is forced to keep it himself, however, when a Rottweiler is set on him in his car. The gangster then posts footage on YouTube of Bishop's humiliation. The entire family is then arrested by the police on a tip-off but they fail to find the gun. Eric Cantona then advises Bishop to seek help from his friends and to 'surprise' himself. Bishop organises 'Operation Cantona', sneaking dozens of fellow Manchester United fans – wearing Cantona masks – into the gangster's house and humiliating him and his family, threatening to put the video of their operation onto YouTube, in turn. The movie ends at Bishop's daughter's graduation day, where the family re-unites in peace.

Production

The film was shot on location in Greater Manchester[3] by Ken Loach's company Sixteen Films.

Release

The film competed in the main competition at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival.[4] It had its UK premiere on 1 June in Lowry Outlet Mall in Salford Quays, attended by Eric Cantona,[5] and was the gala presentation at the opening night of the Sydney Film Festival on 3 June. The film was released in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 12 June. The film was supposed to screen at the Melbourne International Film Festival, but five days before opening night Loach withdrew his film citing a "campaign to target events that are in receipt of financial support from the State of Israel".[6]

Cast

Songwriter and Manchester United fan Pete Boyle appears in the film as the songleader on the coach.

Screenplay

The book for Looking For Eric is published by Route Publishing, it features the full screenplay, including extra scenes, colour photographs from the film and on set, plus introductions from Paul Laverty, Ken Loach, Eric Cantona and production notes from the cast and crew.

Reception

As of December 2011, Looking for Eric has a rating of 84% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[7] The film won the Magritte Award for Best Co-Production.

References

External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • Looking for Eric at BritFilms.com
  • Sixteen Films
  • Route Publishing
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