Espen Heen

Oil painter

Billy Elliot vs. Kes

Size, medium, technique, year

A3, Colour pencil, Burnishing with white pencil, 2016

Kes(1969) is a masterpiece of a film. It follows the main character Billy Casper in his mundane life of training a kestrell, following him on the pathway to become a coal miner. Set in and around Barnsley, the film gets it's mood from the authentic Yorkshire dialect, architecture and the time the movie was filmed in.

Billy Elliot(2000) is a retelling of that same great story the 1968 novel A Kestrel for a Knave told, but gone are the authenticity of the original, substituted for a polished Hollywood look. The Ballet class that was only incidentally incuded in the original, that had no significance of the main story or Billy Casper has in the reboot gotten a central role. Which would make coal mining, piano burning and jogging as queer and joyous as only the wonderfull Sir Elton John could have been able to make it.

Even though the movie was great, it pailed in comparison to Kes, as a manifestation of the difficulty to create a period piece from a bygone era.

Therefore have I illustrated Stuart Wells as Michael Caffrey looking at Billy Elliot whom looks bach at Billy Casper; paying homage to his origin. In addition to Michael looking at Billy differently from the way Billy (does not) look at Michael.