Mike Leigh on Mike Leigh

Overview

An insightful collection of original interviews with the innovative director of Secrets & Lies

A five-time Oscar nominee and BAFTA winner and the only British director to have won the top prize at both Cannes (for Secrets & Lies) and Venice (for Vera Drake), Mike Leigh is unquestionably one of world cinema's preeminent figures. First trained in theater, Leigh devised his own method for the making of first plays and then films, based on months of improvisation and ...

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Overview

An insightful collection of original interviews with the innovative director of Secrets & Lies

A five-time Oscar nominee and BAFTA winner and the only British director to have won the top prize at both Cannes (for Secrets & Lies) and Venice (for Vera Drake), Mike Leigh is unquestionably one of world cinema's preeminent figures. First trained in theater, Leigh devised his own method for the making of first plays and then films, based on months of improvisation and rehearsal with actors prior to shooting. Leigh's actors invent characters based on real people, each unaware of what the other is up to or the larger design Leigh has in mind.

In their commingling of bleakness and humor, Leigh's films re-create the tragicomic world of people whose everyday lives are far from glamorous: a world in which "the done thing" usually prevails, contrary to our inner hopes, wants, or needs. Leigh's work has always reflected its times and entered the vernacular, whether the harsh studies of Meantime and Naked or the humor of the now legendary Abigail's Party and Nuts in May. Above all, Leigh is an accomplished storyteller, and these films deal with universal themes: births, marriages and deaths, parenthood and failed relationships, families and their secrets and lies. Leigh speaks to Amy Raphael more openly than ever before about his life and inimitable working method, revealing himself as passionate, wise, and the owner of a dry and playful Mancunian wit.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780571204694
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber
  • Publication date: 10/14/2008
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Amy Raphael was born in London in 1967. She has worked for Elle and Esquire and now freelances for The Observer and The Daily Telegraph. Her first book, Never Mind the Bollocks: Women Rewrite Rock was published by Virago in 1995.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Bleak Moments 45

Hard Labour 64

The Permissive Society 77

'The Five-Minute Films' 82

Nuts in May 88

The Kiss of Death 100

Abigail's Party 109

Who's Who 125

Grown-Ups 132

Home Sweet Home 146

Meantime 155

Four Days in July 169

The Short and Curlies 183

High Hopes 189

Life Is Sweet 205

A Sense of History 220

Naked 224

Secrets & Lies 250

Career Girls 277

Topsy-Turvy 288

All or Nothing 317

Vera Drake 338

Epilogue 371

Acknowledgements 380

Filmography 381

Stage Plays, with commentary by Mike Leigh 391

Index 425

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