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Mike Leigh on Mike Leigh

Edited by Amy Raphael

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Mike Leigh on Mike Leigh Download image

ISBN10: 0571204694
ISBN13: 9780571204694

Trade Paperback

464 Pages


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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.


Praise for Mike Leigh on Mike Leigh

Table of Contents
Bleak Moments
Hard Labour
The permissive Society
'The Five-Minute Films'
Nuts in May
The Kiss of Death
Abigail's Party
Who's Who
Home Sweet Home
Four Days in July
The Short and Curlies
High Hopes
Life Is Sweet
A Sense of History
Secrets & Lies
Career Girls
All or Nothing
Vera Drake
Stage Plays, with commentary by Mike Leigh

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About the author

Edited by Amy Raphael

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.