XIXAX Film Forum

The Director's Chair => The Director's Chair => Topic started by: godardian on May 12, 2003, 05:06:15 PM

Title: Mike Leigh
Post by: godardian on May 12, 2003, 05:06:15 PM
I saw All or Nothing (which, as far as I can tell, never really received a theatrical release here) on DVD a couple weeks back, and just loved it.

My favorite of his is Naked, though. I know Criterion had a laserdisc Naked release, and I keep pressuring them for a DVD, but so far, looks like nothing.

I really like Secrets and Lies and Career Girls, too. Haven't seen anything earlier than Life is Sweet. But I love this man. Anyone else?
Title: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: cachilders on May 12, 2003, 10:39:23 PM
Naked changed my life. I'm still not sure whether it was for the better or the worse, but the fact remains.
Title: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: godardian on May 13, 2003, 01:33:16 PM
Quote from: mogwai
Secrets & Lies changed my life, for the better.


I would recommend renting All or Nothing when you get the chance, then. It's along very similar lines... the guy who played Brenda Blethyn's brother in Secrets figures prominently, as he has in several Leigh films...

...actually haven't seen Topsy Turvy, though it's on IFC all the time. It seems like it's not 100% a "Mike Leigh film," you know? I'm willing to watch it on DVD sometime soon, however. The one I REALLY wanna get to is Abigail's Party which, depending on who you listen to, is some sort of masterpiece of the British cinema. Has anyone seen it?
Title: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: MacGuffin on May 13, 2003, 01:37:39 PM
Quote from: godardian
It seems like it's not 100% a "Mike Leigh film," you know?


That's because it has a screenplay.
Title: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: godardian on May 13, 2003, 01:40:48 PM
Quote from: MacGuffin

That's because it has a screenplay.


Yeah. Hence, it couldn't come anywhere close to the power of Naked or All or Nothing. He somehow gets this self-conscious immediacy and richness with all the improv in his films, which I think is his signature and which is probably what lends them the quality I really admire. So I'm a bit leery of Topsy Turvy.

Also, I have Gilbert O'Sullivan.  :wink:
Title: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: soixante on May 16, 2003, 09:35:05 PM
Topsy-Turvy is one of Leigh's best films.  If you like his other films, definitely see it.  I believe Leigh used the same improvisational methodology on Topsy that he deployed on his other films.  That film had the misfortune of coming out late in 1999, and had to compete with American Beauty and other great films for awards.  If it had come out in 2000, it probably would have cleaned up at the Oscars.

All or Nothing was great.  I only saw it once, but it's one of the best of last year.  Few people have seen it, sadly.  It played for about two weeks in L.A., then disappeared.  Since it is neither a mainstream "franchisable" commodity movie nor a glib, hip, ironic indie, it slipped through the cracks.  Too bad.

Mike Leigh is one of the world's great filmmakers.  Naked was brilliant -- David Thewlis should have won an Oscar for his performance.  That needs to be on DVD.
Title: Mike Leigh
Post by: filmcritic on June 10, 2003, 04:35:20 PM
It's clear that Mike Leigh is a very good filmmaker. His lastest film, "All or Nothing", was the main one to prove that. He has a great sense about his characters and he cares about them. I'm not sure if he's a great filmmaker, but I would like to see where he'll be down the road.
Title: Re: Mike Leigh
Post by: godardian on June 10, 2003, 04:55:30 PM
Quote from: filmcritic
It's clear that Mike Leigh is a very good filmmaker. His lastest film, "All or Nothing", was the main one to prove that. He has a great sense about his characters and he cares about them. I'm not sure if he's a great filmmaker, but I would like to see where he'll be down the road.


I still think Naked is his masterwork.
Title: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: Ghostboy on June 10, 2003, 05:04:41 PM
I'm getting a hint that I should see Naked ASAP. I've also been meaning to see Secrets & Lies for a long time. I have, however, seen and greatly enjoyed/appreciated/respected Topsy Turvy and All Or Nothing (particularly the latter).
Title: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: Mesh on June 11, 2003, 10:35:07 AM
Quote from: godardian
The one I REALLY wanna get to is Abigail's Party which, depending on who you listen to, is some sort of masterpiece of the British cinema. Has anyone seen it?


I'm pretty sure I remember this film being very good and very British.  I saw it once only, and that was at least 5 years ago.

Naked, Secrets & Lies, and High Hopes are all excellent as well.
Title: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: MacGuffin on April 20, 2004, 12:10:03 AM
New Line Picks Up Mike Leigh's Vera Drake
Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Secrets & Lies director Mike Leigh has sealed a North American deal for his new film, Vera Drake, with New Line Cinema. The Hollywood Reporter says the title is expected to be released through the studio's Fine Line Features arthouse unit.

Starring Imelda Staunton, Jim Broadbent, Heather Craney and Philip Davis, the film follows the story of an Englishwoman in the 1950s who is completely devoted to and loved by her working-class family. However, she also leads a secret life as an abortionist, which threatens to unravel her life as well as her family's.

Leigh's credits include 1999's Topsy-Turvy and 1996's Secrets & Lies. He received Academy Award nominations for writing both and directing the latter.
Title: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: NEON MERCURY on April 20, 2004, 02:49:06 PM
.......i have only seen Naked.......which i though was good ..but ...odd :? ...maybe one of you guys can explain it more clearly for me the point of the film....... i thought it was a sort of self discovery type of film where thewlis meets different people on a journey...but at the end of the film it just didn't reach any sort of conclusion for me....i don't know,  i just didn't "get it" ..i guess.  :| .................i still believe though that thewlis was incredible in that film ...very solid acting....

the only other film by him that i tried to watch was topsy-turvy..and i turned it off ......it had that really annoying shakespeare thing going on...it was too englishy for me ..(like gosford park).........i just couldn't get into it......
but what little i got out of naked, i believe that leigh is interesting
Title: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: MacGuffin on September 12, 2004, 12:48:47 AM
Vera Drake' Wins Top Honor in Venice

Mike Leigh's "Vera Drake," a film about an underground abortionist in 1950s England, won the Golden Lion for best picture Saturday at the close of the 11-day Venice Film Festival.

"Vera Drake" is another of Leigh's raw, naturalistic films dealing with social issues in Britain. This time the setting is London of half a century ago, where a seemingly unexceptional housewife is secretly performing abortions.

"In a cynical world, it is a wonderful thing and most reassuring when low-budget, serious, committed, independent, European films are recognized and encouraged in this way and helped to reach their audiences," Leigh told the awards gala at central Venice's Fenice theater.
 
Leigh, 61, is famous for drawing out stunning performances from his actors, and this time was no different, with Imelda Staunton taking best actress for her role as Drake.

"I do think it deals with a complex subject with such compassion," she told the audience. "Mike Leigh is a genius."

Leigh is known for disturbing and emotional films such "Secrets and Lies" (1996) and "Naked" (1992). His intense approach often requires months of working on character development with the actors
Title: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: MacGuffin on January 04, 2005, 02:56:49 PM
Leigh Slams "Interfering" Hollywood

British director Mike Leigh refuses to compromise his artistic vision in order to satisfy the demands of Hollywood studios - because to do so would be a "nightmare". Leigh, whose latest film Vera Drake is tipped to receive Oscar nominations this year, has turned down offers of major stars to act in his movies because their presence would be pointless. He says, "The reality of Hollywood is non-negotiable and non-viable. My producer comes back and says, 'They don't mind that there is no script and they know you can do it, but they will insist on a name or two.' And that means having actors imposed upon me who have no reason to be there and who are not going to be disposed to my methods. The guys in Hollywood interfere at every stage because big dosh (money) is at stake and they have to justify their asses. It would be a nightmare. It's giving me the heebie-jeebies just talking about it."
Title: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: grand theft sparrow on June 08, 2005, 08:53:35 AM
I just saw Naked last night for the first time.  My head is still spinning from it.  Definitely one of the best films I've seen in a LONG TIME.  I can feel a Mike Leigh binge coming on.  I've only seen Secrets and Lies and Topsy-Turvy, and I'll be watching Vera Drake this week, to be sure.

I get the idea that the rest of his work is closer to those than Naked but can anyone recommend anything else?

Jesus Christ, I haven't been kicked in the cinematic nuts like that in a long fucking time!
Title: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: Pubrick on June 08, 2005, 09:05:03 AM
Quote from: hacksparrow
I get the idea that the rest of his work is closer to those than Naked but can anyone recommend anything else?

Jesus Christ, I haven't been kicked in the cinematic nuts like that in a long fucking time!

i don't know what the hell he was thinking when he made Naked, but it's become clear he'll never top it for sheer f*ing brilliance. my god man, that movie is just the grimiest.

as for recommendations, avoid Career Girls if u can.
Title: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: Redlum on June 08, 2005, 09:55:28 AM
I think I've said it somewhereelse but you have to see "Nuts In May".
Title: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: soixante on June 08, 2005, 12:13:19 PM
I saw Naked on cable the other night, first time I'd seen it since 1994.  I had only seen it once, but it stayed in my brain.  My second viewing only confirmed my first impression -- this is one of the best films of the 90's.  David Thewlis should have won the Oscar.

I actually like Career Girls more than Secrets and Lies.  Life is Sweet is one of his best, as is Topsy-Turvy.  All or Nothing is worth seeing.  I haven't seen Vera Drake yet.
Title: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: grand theft sparrow on June 08, 2005, 01:51:02 PM
Quote from: soixante
I saw Naked on cable the other night, first time I'd seen it since 1994.  I had only seen it once, but it stayed in my brain.  My second viewing only confirmed my first impression -- this is one of the best films of the 90's.  David Thewlis should have won the Oscar.


He seriously should have... but he did win Cannes.  

It really is one of the best films of the 90s.  And I'd have to say among the most underrated.  Naked has never been one of those "You HAVE to see this movie" movies.  It did reasonably well in the US from what I can see.  $1.7 million, in 1994 dollars, isn't bad for a British indie.  My guess is it came out too early and was forgotten when the Pulp Fiction wave hit and carried every subsequent quasi-noir with it.  If it had come out in late 94, it would have received its due audience on video, like Shallow Grave.  I certainly feel the poorer having waited this long to see it.

Why is Criterion dragging ass with the DVD for this?  It's time to start writing some letters.
Title: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: Pubrick on June 08, 2005, 02:20:14 PM
Quote from: soixante
this is one of the best films of the 90's.
Quote from: hacksparrow
It really is one of the best films of the 90s.

it works out to be third.. http://xixax.com/viewtopic.php?p=116735#116735
Title: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: soixante on June 08, 2005, 02:51:37 PM
I think David Thewlis' performance in Naked is the best of the 90's, at least by an actor in a leading role.

Naked probably would have made more money in 1995, when depressing movies like Leaving Las Vegas and Dead Man Walking did well at the box office.  Naked also had the misfortune to come out in late 1993, when high-profile movies like Remains of the Day, Schindler's List, In The Name of the Father, The Piano, Short Cuts and Philadelphia were competing for critical acclaim and Oscar nominations.
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: hedwig on January 23, 2006, 10:41:15 PM
this morning at around 3:00 AM, i watched "Naked." (i'..mmm. really tired.. i havn't slept since 11:00 AM Sunday morning  :()

Mike Leigh is quickly becoming one of my favorite filmmakers. i see one of his movies and i'm immediately compelled to seek out his entire oeuvre. sheer genius. so far i've seen Secrets and Lies (which is one of my favorite movies) , and Naked. both are brilliant, dealing with very different subject matter, but converging thematically: Leigh courageously shines a bright spotlight on the powerful human desire, or need, for community and connection.

"i've got an infinite number of places to go, the problem is somewhere to stay..." - johnny, "Naked"

maybe i'm reaching a bit, because they are somewhat polar opposites tonally, one striking an almost uplifting chord (secrets and lies), the other journeying deep beneath the grimiest, filthiest, disturbing underbelly of the human condition, the combatting forces of soul-searching and self-loathing. it's been said a million times before but it's worth saying again: david thewlis delivers one of the most powerful and immersive performances ever recorded on film. i just did a search and apparently "immersive" is not a real word, so what i mean is that thewlis seems to inhabit the character's spirit entirely, there seems to be absolutely no distinction between the man playing the role and the role he's playing.

next up, "All or Nothing."
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: squints on January 24, 2006, 12:35:47 AM
this thread has almost inspired me to drop 22 bucks on this apparent gem that's been staring me in the face everytime i walk down a certain isle at the video store...sounds like its worth the blind buy?
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: grand theft sparrow on January 24, 2006, 11:24:20 AM
this thread has almost inspired me to drop 22 bucks on this apparent gem that's been staring me in the face everytime i walk down a certain isle at the video store...sounds like its worth the blind buy?

Worth a FULL-PRICE blind buy.

Since the marquee thread is locked, I would like to suggest:  "Creating Mike Leigh Fans One Naked Viewing At A Time"

Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: samsong on January 25, 2006, 05:47:34 PM
Naked's fantastic but let's not forget Secrets & Lies.
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: eward on January 25, 2006, 11:41:33 PM
i agree, naked is a masterpiece but i prefer secrets & lies
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: squints on January 26, 2006, 03:02:38 AM
is there a secrets & lies criterion?
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: hedwig on January 26, 2006, 08:14:43 AM
no.
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: samsong on January 26, 2006, 05:16:46 PM
i agree, naked is a masterpiece but i prefer secrets & lies

fo sho cuh.
there IS a super cheap Fox DVD.. the quality's great, but it's barebones.  but it's also retailed at $9.99 so it's a steal, easily.
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: eward on January 26, 2006, 09:27:41 PM
yeah i actually got mine for like 6 bucks, sumpin like that
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: godardian on February 01, 2006, 04:42:52 PM
Wow, so nice to see lots of new Mike Leigh fans being created. . . .

I recently watched Naked with a friend of mine who has his Master's in Classics but did was not "grabbed" by Leigh's masterwork. I tried to explain it to him in terms of The Odyssey, but I came up short. I'm wondering if anyone knows of any good resources that tie the two works together in any interesting/convincing ways. Pubrick?

I would highly, highly recommend All or Nothing (2002) to anyone here who hasn't yet seen it. I consider it Leigh's seconde masterpiece. It's probably equal to Naked, really, though its power isn't quite as lapel-grabbingly immediate.
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: Bethie on February 02, 2006, 12:11:42 AM
I rented Secrets & Lies last week but never found the time to watch it. Thought you'd all like to know
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: The Red Vine on March 16, 2006, 04:37:49 PM
I just watched my first Leigh film; Meantime.

move on to "Naked". I saw it last week and was blown away.
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: hedwig on March 16, 2006, 04:41:22 PM
I saw it last week and it was blown away.

You should've put a paperweight on it then.
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: The Red Vine on March 16, 2006, 04:45:26 PM
damn it  :yabbse-sad:
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: hedwig on June 28, 2006, 12:48:20 AM
the Will Self interview on the second disc of the Naked criterion is ridiculous.. i've never read any of the guy's books but now i'll try to avoid them by any means necessary. this guy seems to think his opinions on Leigh's films are more valuable than Leigh's. Self goes on and on (and on) about what he thinks of Leigh's movies, then waits for him to agree/elaborate. it's too bad, because Leigh is pretty honest about his work and intentions, but everytime he says something insightful, Self jumps in with some inane bullshit like, "i think as an artist -- and i've encountered this IN MY OWN WORK SEE IM AN ARTIST TOO -- i believe that you are, in a way, a Becketian sort of spiritual blah blah blah oh my god look how smart i am. btw sir, I've seen Secrets and Lies TWO WHOLE TIMES."

i haven't heard the main commentary yet. the best thing on the extras disc is the short film starring thewlis, "The Short and Curlies", about a guy whose only means of communication is humour. it's funny and sweet, the perfect way to wash out the puke taste from the Will Self interview.
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: soixante on June 29, 2006, 02:52:11 AM
I read somewhere that Leigh takes public transportation, not only to save money but to stay in touch with everyday reality.  Could you imagine Ron Howard, Inc., doing that?  I have quite an imagination, and I can't Imagine it.

Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: Pubrick on June 29, 2006, 05:05:19 AM
Ron Howard, Inc.
not the whole company, no. not all in one bus at the same time anyway. it might be better to car pool in that situation.
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: soixante on June 30, 2006, 01:36:51 PM
I recall, at least back in the mid-90's, that Ron Howard wore baseball caps with the logo of his most recent film stitched thereon whenever he made talk-show appearances.  Could you imagine Mike Leigh -- or any other auteur of note -- doing something equally crass?

Years ago, right after Night Shift was unleashed upon the public, I was at a Burger King in L.A., and none other than Sir Ron Howard was chomping down on a Whopper at an adjacent table.  I could draw an analogy between Howard's taste in food and his taste in film projects, but why belabor the obvious?
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: Redlum on August 12, 2006, 06:50:43 AM
You must:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00023P40G.01._SS500_SCLZZZZZZZ_V1083265240_.jpg)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00023P40G/sr=8-1/qid=1155383317/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-1087054-0463830?ie=UTF8
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: Garam on November 25, 2006, 09:11:02 AM
Since that post up there, I've seen both Life is Sweet and All or Nothing, much preferring the former. They did both disappoint me a bit, though. Life is Sweet felt loads like MeanTime with a couple of little differeneces, and All or Nothing seemed like a parody of the social realism genre. It didn't add anything new to it except higher production values.

Quote
the Will Self interview on the second disc of the Naked criterion is ridiculous.. i've never read any of the guy's books but now i'll try to avoid them by any means necessary. this guy seems to think his opinions on Leigh's films are more valuable than Leigh's. Self goes on and on (and on) about what he thinks of Leigh's movies, then waits for him to agree/elaborate. it's too bad, because Leigh is pretty honest about his work and intentions, but everytime he says something insightful, Self jumps in with some inane bullshit like, "i think as an artist -- and i've encountered this IN MY OWN WORK SEE IM AN ARTIST TOO -- i believe that you are, in a way, a Becketian sort of spiritual blah blah blah oh my god look how smart i am. btw sir, I've seen Secrets and Lies TWO WHOLE TIMES."

Will Self's an odd one. Sometimes he can come across as the most irritatingly pompous man in the world, and then he goes and sends up his own image by appearing in ridiculously silly sketches with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO_JG1RyQgM) for two series on Shooting Stars. I haven't seen the interview, but I'd suggest you don't write him off just because of that. And his books are pretty funny, even if they are completely derivative of Martin Amis.


Anyway, the main reason I posted in this thread was to tell you that I have a torrent available of a half-hour 1975 TV drama that Leigh made. I got it from a UK TV torrent site I frequent, and it's completely legal. If anyone wants this, PM me your e-mail address and I'll send you the torrent. There are always loads of seeds, so it'll download in no time at all. It's 400mb in size, and it's called The Permissive Society.


I really want to buy that Nuts in May DVD. The lead actor, Roger Sloman, was always a scene stealer in UK sitcoms like The Young Ones/Bottom etc
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: MacGuffin on January 05, 2008, 12:48:14 AM
Leigh rings in the New 'Years'
Director stages Off Broadway return
Source: Variety
 
A legit hit in London that spawned a successful U.K. tour seems like a natural candidate for a stint on Broadway, especially when the production is written by an Oscar-nommed filmmaker.

But when Mike Leigh's latest play, "Two Thousand Years," makes its American preem this month, the show will play a small house Off Broadway, just as Leigh's four prior New York outings did.

"Years," which begins previews Jan. 15 at the 199-seat Acorn Theater, is the latest product of the mutually beneficial relationship between Leigh and Gotham troupe the New Group -- a longstanding link that has yielded hits for the New Group and a solid presence for Leigh on the New York theater scene.

"Two Thousand Years" is the fifth Leigh play produced by the New Group and helmed by Scott Elliott, the company's a.d. Centering on a secular Jewish family in suburban London, the show, which played a popular five-month run at the National beginning in September 2005, is also the first new play from Leigh since "It's a Great Big Shame!" in 1993.

The Brit writer-director has cultivated a rep for plays and pics that grow out of unusually long, collaborative rehearsal processes with casts of actors, during which character exploration and improvisation help determine the events of the story.

His CV includes plays such as "Abigail's Party" (1977), "Ecstasy" (1979) and "Goose-Pimples" (1981), although it's his film work -- "Vera Drake" (2004), "Topsy-Turvy" (1999), "Secrets & Lies" (1996) and "Naked" (1993), among others -- that is best known Stateside.

The relationship between the New Group and Leigh stretches back to 1995, when the troupe presented "Ecstasy" as its inaugural production. Elliott had been introduced by a friend to Leigh's BBC teleplays from the late 1970s and early 1980s, and contacted the writer's rep about producing and directing his plays in Gotham.

"Ecstasy," about the blue-collar lives of a group of friends in London, proved a major critical and B.O. success for the fledgling troupe.

"Mike Leigh definitely has a following. It began the New Group's following," says Elliott.

Elliott has gone on to direct New Group productions of Leigh's plays "Goose-Pimples," "Smelling a Rat" and "Abigail's Party." The 2005 staging of "Party," which starred Jennifer Jason Leigh, hit $1.3 million at the box office -- a hefty sum for a nonprofit Off Broadway company with a $2.2 million operating budget and an average production cost of about $315,000.

Although New Group has found success on Broadway as the original co-producer (with the Vineyard Theater) of "Avenue Q," the troupe's productions of Leigh plays strike a fiscal balance in smaller venues. "He's definitely an acquired taste," Elliott says of Leigh and his work.

From the New Group, Leigh gets a regular showcase for his plays in Gotham. "It's very good news that this director has brought my stage works to a New York audience that otherwise would only know my films," he says.

Along with the string of Leigh plays that began with "Ecstasy," the New Group has become notable for attracting respected stars (Wallace Shawn, Cynthia Nixon, Lili Taylor, Kristen Johnston, Chloe Sevigny) to a wide range of both revivals ("Aunt Dan and Lemon") and new plays ("This is Our Youth"). A 2004 production of David Rabe's "Hurlyburly" went on to a commercial run Off Broadway, and, most recently, Ethan Hawke's directorial debut, "Things We Want," ended an extended run last month.

As for Leigh, after focusing for a decade on movies, he was brought back to legit when Nicholas Hytner, a.d. of London's National Theater, asked him to write a play.

The result, created over an 18-week rehearsal period, was "Two Thousand Years," which follows the upheaval in a secular Jewish family when the son suddenly becomes devoutly faithful. The show, which received favorable reviews, sold out its initial offering of 16,000 tickets even before it began perfs in September 2005, and the production led to a successful U.K. tour in 2006.

The cast of theGotham incarnation, which opens Feb. 7, includes Natasha Lyonne. Leigh, who has seen every New Group production of his work except "Ecstasy," will visit "Two Thousand Years" late in its rehearsal period to make minor tweaks if necessary.

"I don't do what I do for Scott and his company anywhere else," Leigh says. "I like what he does."

Biz for the Gotham incarnation of "Two Thousand Years" could top sales for "Abigail's Party."

"Every time we do one of Mike's plays, the audience increases," Elliott says. "They get better and better attended."
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: hedwig on January 05, 2008, 01:08:16 AM
Exclusive picture from new Mike Leigh film
Source: Time Out London

Leigh's new feature is called 'Happy-Go-Lucky' and will be released in the UK in the spring of 2008 – after having its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February.

'Happy-Go-Lucky' stars Sally Hawkins as a teacher in north London – a performance which, we're told, sees her 'in every single frame of the film'.

Hawkins previously had smaller roles in Leigh's 'Vera Drake' as well as his 2002 film, 'All or Nothing'. She will appear soon as Colin Farrell's wife in Woody Allen's 'Cassandra's Dream'.

Hawkins is joined in the film by the actor Eddie Marsan, who also appeared in Leigh's 'Vera Drake'.

We're told that 'Happy-Go-Lucky' is a comedy – as this exclusive still for the film might suggest – but we also hear that it's not a film without a dark side.

Time Out will report further on the film in the New Year.


(http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a175/Leven321/happy-go-lucky.jpg)
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: MacGuffin on August 26, 2009, 07:53:41 PM
Mike Leigh shooting new film
'Happy-Go-Lucky' director busy at work in the U.K.
Source: Variety
 
Mike Leigh has started production on his first film since the Oscar-nommed "Happy-Go-Lucky." Untitled as are all his films while in production, the pic stars Leigh regulars Imelda Staunton, Jim Broadbent and Philip Davis and will shoot in London for nine weeks.

Thesps David Bradley and Stuart McQuarrie have signed on for their first Leigh film.

Georgina Lowe produces, with Gail Egan as exec producer. Leigh's longtime producer, Simon Channing-Williams, died in April.

Focus Features Intl. handles foreign sales and is co-financing with the U.K. Film Council's Premiere Fund and Film 4.
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: matt35mm on January 30, 2010, 04:19:27 AM
http://fora.tv/2008/10/20/Mike_Leigh_at_the_Hudson_Union_Society

A nice, hour-long interview with Mike Leigh from around the time that Happy-Go-Lucky was released in the U.S.  It's fairly similar to a Q&A that xerxes, pete, and I went to at The Castro in San Francisco, but I don't know if any video exists of that.

He discusses, among other things, the way he works in creating the world of the film with the actors out of improvisation and focused rehearsal, and why he works that way instead of working with screenplays.
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: MacGuffin on May 21, 2010, 12:49:07 PM
Cannes Film Festival: There will never be another Mike Leigh
'I practice a craft that can't be copied,' says the director of 'Another Year.'
By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic

Reporting from Cannes, France"I always have a problem giving films titles," Mike Leigh says, thinking about it. "That comes last, and this film was a real tough one, a bummer. At some stage we thought we should just call it 'Life,' but you can't call it that, it's bloody pretentious."

"Another Year" was the appropriate title eventually selected, but the truth is that Leigh's exceptional new film, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, really is about the turning wheel of life as dramatized by the hand of a master, about the pleasures and jealousies, disappointments and insecurities, destroyed dreams and rekindled hopes that make up our daily lives.

"Another Year" is also further proof — if proof were needed after six Oscar nominations for writing and directing, a Palme d'Or and best director award from Cannes and a Golden Lion from Venice — that Leigh is a filmmaker like no other, a writer-director who uses his own singular method to go so thrillingly deep into character on screen that it frankly makes your head spin.

Starring Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen as a happily married couple and an exceptional Lesley Manville as their tightly wound friend, "Another Year," is, like all of Leigh's films, "very personal, subjective, about things that preoccupy me," he says. "I am 67 and in part this is a film about time getting on and all that stuff. The last film [2008's "Happy-Go-Lucky"] was very much from the perspective of younger people and with this one I decided to look at some things from the perspective of my age."

But if Leigh "can't help working from a subjective overview," he also continues to be engaged in what he describes as "this ongoing investigation into putting some kind of distillation of reality onto the screen." Which means continued use and refinement of his process of working with actors to create those superbly delineated individuals his films are known for.

Though any attempt to generalize about Leigh's method is doomed, in the broadest possible terms they involve the intense, months-long process of forming formidably detailed people from the ground up before any attempt is made to put them into a script — or even a plot. "What we do," Leigh says, "is the very long and elaborate construction of what in conventional Hollywood terms would be called 'back story.' What we do is start at the beginning and work forward."

This process can be enormously time-consuming, and Leigh remembers actress Brenda Blethyn asking him, after a full three months of this kind of work for 1996's "Secrets & Lies," "will we ever get up and do ordinary acting?" But the results bear out Leigh's belief that once this process is complete, "it's all there, the resonance of relationships, their actual layers, the hidden, implicit aspects are instantly there."

As Leigh is the first to acknowledge, helping this process enormously is that "it's been my privilege and luxury to work with the most brilliant actors: intelligent, sophisticated, informed about the world with a sense of humor about their lives. They're supreme individualists with the ability to be part of an ensemble without any ego crap. They're great character actors who don't go in and play a version of themselves." Which is why Leigh can use them again and again: "Another Year" is his seventh film with Broadbent, his ninth with Manville.

Despite lots of inquiries , these actors have never been Americans, and Leigh's explanation of why offers additional windows into how his process works. One reason is simply that as a British filmmaker, he's not had an idea that specifically called for Americans, but another is that "every actor ever seen in any of my movies joins in not knowing what the characters is, not knowing the size or weight of the part. Also actor Zed may have to do nothing for some weeks, do some research or just be patient, until I sort out actors X and Y. It's almost impossible for some actors to sit waiting like that."

And though people have asked, it is once again the nature of Leigh's process that has kept him from taking on protégés to learn how to do it. The fact that "having anyone around is a damn nuisance" aside, Leigh insists on making sure that "nobody ever watches actors really getting used to being real. I don't allow people to watch them formulate how to do it. I'll often go off myself and leave them to it."

More than that, Leigh is at this point in his career frankly skeptical that his methods are teachable. "I used to encourage others, I used to say anyone could do it, but I now feel that that's absolute and total bollocks," he says. "What I do is so idiosyncratic, so esoteric, so telepathic, so intuitive that if I had to explain it would be difficult.

"When people say, 'Just tell us how do you do it,' I say, and this is kind of smug, it's like asking 'Mr. Van Gogh, I want to paint some sunflowers, can you tell me how to do it.' I practice a craft that can't be copied."

"Another Year" is the last film on which Leigh's longtime colleague Simon Channing Williams will be listed as a producer: He died in April of last year, just as rehearsals were about to begin. "It's an absolute cast-iron certainty that I would not have been able to make the films I've made since the 1990s," the director says, "films with no script, no commitment as to subject matter and a refusal to discuss casting, without Simon as the producer."

Leigh and Channing Williams' longtime associate, Georgina Lowe, produced "Another Year," but Leigh has a suspicion that his old producer pitched in as well. "We shot four seasons in 10 weeks and there were days when it had to be not raining and major storms were predicted," the director relates. "We'd get to the location and it would not rain. After a while, I started to think that Simon had gone to heaven thinking 'I've let the guys down, what can I do?' And in his schmoozy way he took care of the rain. That was very much Simon's posthumous contribution to the film."
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: wilder on March 19, 2013, 01:43:24 PM
Sony Pictures Classics Picks Up Mike Leigh's Untitled J.M.W. Turner Biopic For 2014 Release
via The Playlist

Generally speaking, Mike Leigh's films have usually leaned toward the realistic, with dramas that feel almost like documentaries thanks to an approach that emphasizes rehearsals to find new and authentic notes for the characters the writer/director has put on the page. But could his next picture see him deliver something more in the vein of the flamboyant "Topsy-Turvy"?

Sony Pictures Classics have snapped up the North American, Latin American and Eastern European rights to Mike Leigh’s upcoming and untitled J.M.W. Turner biopic. Last fall, it was reported that Timothy Spall would be taking the lead in the movie, playing the painter who was born in London in 1775, and grew up to be at the forefront of the British Romantic movement in art until his passing in 1851. Leigh has been working on the project for a few years now, with the budget expected to be a bit larger than what he generally requires. And it looks like he'll find both humor and heart in the subject matter.

“Turner as a character is compelling. I want to explore the man, his working life, his relationships and how he lived. But what fascinates me most is the drama that lies in the tension between this driven eccentric and the epic, timeless world he evoked in his masterpieces," the director said. "I also see rich tragic-comic potential in his often turbulent relationship with the English Art Establishment, especially in his later years, when his increasingly radical work was misunderstood and derided.”

It sounds promising, and Leigh has a great team of collaborators. The National Gallery, Tate Britain and the Royal Academy will grant special access to some of Turner’s original works for the movie, and behind the camera the director will be assisted by cinematographer Dick Pope ("The Illusionist," "Secrets & Lies," "Another Year," "Topsy-Turvy"), Academy Award-winning costume designer Jaqueline Durran ("Anna Karenina," "Pride & Prejudice," "Atonement") and more.

Production will begin this spring for release in 2014.
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: wilder on December 07, 2013, 03:01:15 AM
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: wilder on December 16, 2014, 02:23:26 PM
Title: Re: MIKE LEIGH
Post by: matt35mm on December 16, 2014, 03:44:03 PM
There is a nice feature-length portrait doc of Mike Leigh called THE ONE AND ONLY MIKE LEIGH that was just put out by BBC. It's available to those in the UK here for the next few days: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04svg4x

For those outside of the UK, it is streaming here: http://www.movhunter.net/watch.php?vid=345c91218

Features a nice, long interview with Leigh, and an overview of his life and career.
Title: Re: Mike Leigh
Post by: wilder on April 17, 2015, 02:23:35 PM
Mike Leigh's Next Film To Focus On The Peterloo Massacre
via The Playlist

"There has never been a feature film about the Peterloo Massacre," Mike Leigh said in a press release. "Apart from the universal political significance of this historic event, the story has a particular personal resonance for me, as a native of Manchester and Salford." Well, now he's going to make it happen.

The director announced that the Peterloo Massacre will be the subject of his next film. It will tell the story of the infamous 1819 massacre by government forces at a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St. Peter's Field in Manchester, where 700 working people were injured, and 18 killed. The filmmaker will reunite with his longtime collaborator, cinematographer Dick Pope, to shoot the project, but here's the thing — it won't lens until 2017. Why the delay?

Well, Leigh is currently gearing up "The Pirates Of Penzance" for the English National Opera, and we'd reckon that the scale of Leigh's Peterloo project will be quite large and require some amount of prep work before it can roll. But this is something to look forward to, even if we won't see it for some time yet.
Title: Re: Mike Leigh
Post by: jenkins on March 19, 2020, 01:30:29 AM
idk man, the 90s. so i put Naked in and in the beginning the lead character is sexually assaulting a woman in an alley. that's the beginning of the movie, and he's the rest of the movie. and that isn't why i used to like the movie, i used to like the movie because it complained about life. i grew up in a time period in which complaining about life was the cultural norm. and now it's a different time period, in which action is being taken against sexually assaulting a woman in an alley. i put the movie away because i just couldn't get into it. which shows how i've changed too. he's dead serious about this question

Quote
Jeremy: [in the middle of a massage] Do you think women enjoy being raped?

he's 100% serious. and this type of quote, the next quote, seems to validate his whole personhood (i can't remember if the movie validates him as a person, i'd have to rewatch the movie but that sounds awful as i'm describing)

Quote
Johnny: Was I bored? No, I wasn't fuckin' bored. I'm never bored. That's the trouble with everybody - you're all so bored. You've had nature explained to you and you're bored with it, you've had the living body explained to you and you're bored with it, you've had the universe explained to you and you're bored with it. So now you want cheap thrills and like plenty of them, and it don't matter how tawdry or vacuous they are as long as it's new, as long as it's new, as long as it flashes and fuckin' bleeps in forty fuckin' different colors. So whatever else you can say about me, I'm not fuckin' bored.

god that sounded insightful to a younger me? what a bad influence this movie was. this is always how dumb people explain why they do dumb things

i'm trying to find what the security guard says to him. oh here's a topic DFW goes into in Infinite Jest

Quote
Brian: But a cliché is full of truth, otherwise it wouldn't be a cliché.
Johnny: Which is in itself a cliché.

Johnny just dissed DFW while dissing everything. the whole thing with Infinite Jest is it wanted to elevate the ordinary without sexually assaulting a woman in an alley. of course this was also what The Pale King wanted to achieve and DFW killed himself while writing it but i still prefer how Infinite Jest describes cliches, and now i've figured out the security guard's name. look at this section too

Quote
Johnny: And what is it what goes on in this postmodern gas chamber?
Brian: Nothing. It's empty.
Johnny: So what is it you guard, then?
Brian: Space.
Johnny: You're guarding space? That's stupid, isn't it? Because someone could break in there and steal all the fuckin' space and you wouldn't know it's gone, would you?
Brian: Good point.

Johnny is legitimately saying nonsense that's being called a good point. in order to steal the space of the place there would have to be enough people to fill the space of the place, and Brian would notice all the people

i think Brian shittalks Johnny i'm looking for it. no okay it's not in the imdb quote section, just Brian defending his job is. i read somewhere that Brian says something against Johnny's cynicism but it's not in the imdb quote section like i just mentioned, and i also just mentioned that i was a child to like this movie
Title: Re: Mike Leigh
Post by: Alexandro on March 19, 2020, 09:31:44 AM
I don't think the film is about validating him (or anyone) as a character or person. Isn't it the point that he hides his own hollowness behind his supposed nihilism? He can say some insightful things and still be a sociopath, something that the film, Leigh and Thewlis never shy away from.

Also, no matter how deep or isolated the character study feels, Leigh is always about the social and class commentary, and I think he is aiming and nailing to portrait a particular brit atmosphere of numbness and meaninglessness during the early 90's, the country in a major recession, the conservatives winning the elections, historically high unemployment, etc...