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The Films of Mike Leigh is the first critical study of one of the most important and eccentric directors of British independent filmmaking. Although active since 1971, Leigh has only come to the attention of an international audience in the 1990s through films such as Secrets and Lies, and Career Girls. The authors examine Leigh's working method and films in the intellectual and social contexts in which they were created. All of Leigh's major box office successes are analyzed, interpreted, and shown to be among the finest examples of cinema.
Biographical and cultural introduction; Stylistic introduction: living beyond consciousness; 1. Bleak Moments: fictitious selves; 2. Hard Labour: melting the freezing; 3. The Kiss of Death: temporal and spatial truth; 4. Nuts in May: defeating easy knowledge; 5. Abigail's Party: losing track of who you are; 6. Who's Who: we are the hollow men; 7. Grown-Ups: in praise of otherness; 8. Home Sweet Home: manufactured emotions; 9. Meantime: challenging forms of understanding; 10. High Hopes: loose relations; 11. Life is Sweet: circulation is the law of life; 12. Naked: alone in the dark; Epilogue: the feel of life.