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High Hopes (1988)

Mike Leigh

Born in Salford, Manchester, in 1943, Mike Leigh has developed a unique method of creating films through controlled improvisations. After his debut Bleak Moments (1971) he made a succession of admired TV plays, including Abigail's Party and Nuts in May. He then returned to feature films: High Hopes (1988), Life is Sweet (1990), Naked (1993). Secrets and Lies won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1996. Topsy-Turvy (1999) won two Oscars. All or Nothing followed in 2002. Since then he has made the Oscar-nominated Vera Drake (2004), which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) and Another Year (2010). He also did Two Thousand Years for the National Theatre in 2005. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Amy Raphael

Amy Raphael was born in London in 1967. She has worked on The Face, NME, Elle and Esquire and now freelances for the Guardian, the Observer and The Times. Her first book, Never Mind the Bollocks: Women Rewrite Rock, was published by Virago in 1995. She conducted the conversations and edited Mike Leigh on Mike Leigh, which was published by Faber in 2008. She has also contributed to the The Rolling Stone Book of Women in Rock and Perfect Pitch, a series of books about football. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Mike Leigh on Mike Leigh

Faber and Faber, 2008

Book chapter

...Wayne (Jason Watkins) arrives in London with a small suitcase and a scrap of paper detailing his sister’s address. Clearly lost, he sees motorcycle courier Cyril (Phil Davis) tinkering with his motorbike outside a small block of flats...

1950: Friends and Lovers

John Boorman

John Boorman was born in London in 1933. After working as a film reviewer for magazines and radio, he joined the BBC in 1955 as an assistant editor, and later directed a number of documentaries. His first feature was ‘Catch Us If You Can’ in 1965. His latest film, Country of My Skull, opens in 2003. He is a five-time Academy Award-nominee, and was twice awarded Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for Leo the Last (1970) and The General (1998). He is the author of Money Into Light: The Emerald Forest - A Diary, as well as the being the co-founder and editor of Faber & Faber's long-running series Projections: Film-makers on Film-making. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Adventures of a Suburban Boy

Faber and Faber Limited, 2003

Book chapter

...David Young was a year older than me and lived in a neighbouring riverside bungalow. His father was an inventor of gadgets that nobody seemed to need; he made a precarious living with a gambling system that involved backing second...

1965: Catch Us If You Can

John Boorman

John Boorman was born in London in 1933. After working as a film reviewer for magazines and radio, he joined the BBC in 1955 as an assistant editor, and later directed a number of documentaries. His first feature was ‘Catch Us If You Can’ in 1965. His latest film, Country of My Skull, opens in 2003. He is a five-time Academy Award-nominee, and was twice awarded Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for Leo the Last (1970) and The General (1998). He is the author of Money Into Light: The Emerald Forest - A Diary, as well as the being the co-founder and editor of Faber & Faber's long-running series Projections: Film-makers on Film-making. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Adventures of a Suburban Boy

Faber and Faber Limited, 2003

Book chapter

...The first Beatles film had come out and was a big success. Nat Cohen leapt on the bandwagon and sold Warner Brothers on doing a film with the Dave Clark Five. He got a price from Warners for the States that would more than cover the budget,...

1969: Leo the Last

John Boorman

John Boorman was born in London in 1933. After working as a film reviewer for magazines and radio, he joined the BBC in 1955 as an assistant editor, and later directed a number of documentaries. His first feature was ‘Catch Us If You Can’ in 1965. His latest film, Country of My Skull, opens in 2003. He is a five-time Academy Award-nominee, and was twice awarded Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for Leo the Last (1970) and The General (1998). He is the author of Money Into Light: The Emerald Forest - A Diary, as well as the being the co-founder and editor of Faber & Faber's long-running series Projections: Film-makers on Film-making. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Adventures of a Suburban Boy

Faber and Faber Limited, 2003

Book chapter

...Back in London we quickly outgrew the Tabori story but revelled in the script it inspired. We called it Leo the Last. A European aristocratic ornithologist inherits a mansion in the midst of a slum and watches his neighbours through...

1973: Zardoz

John Boorman

John Boorman was born in London in 1933. After working as a film reviewer for magazines and radio, he joined the BBC in 1955 as an assistant editor, and later directed a number of documentaries. His first feature was ‘Catch Us If You Can’ in 1965. His latest film, Country of My Skull, opens in 2003. He is a five-time Academy Award-nominee, and was twice awarded Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for Leo the Last (1970) and The General (1998). He is the author of Money Into Light: The Emerald Forest - A Diary, as well as the being the co-founder and editor of Faber & Faber's long-running series Projections: Film-makers on Film-making. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Adventures of a Suburban Boy

Faber and Faber Limited, 2003

Book chapter

...I was hot. I had made a hit, a genuine blockbuster. The picture had not been expensive. The studio had made lots of money. I had earned myself the power to make what I wanted. Warners had bought the film rights to The Exorcist. Calley asked...

1983: The Emerald Forest

John Boorman

John Boorman was born in London in 1933. After working as a film reviewer for magazines and radio, he joined the BBC in 1955 as an assistant editor, and later directed a number of documentaries. His first feature was ‘Catch Us If You Can’ in 1965. His latest film, Country of My Skull, opens in 2003. He is a five-time Academy Award-nominee, and was twice awarded Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for Leo the Last (1970) and The General (1998). He is the author of Money Into Light: The Emerald Forest - A Diary, as well as the being the co-founder and editor of Faber & Faber's long-running series Projections: Film-makers on Film-making. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Adventures of a Suburban Boy

Faber and Faber Limited, 2003

Book chapter

...While I was in LA I had dinner with Rospo and we bemoaned these new trends in Hollywood. He fished out a cutting from the Los Angeles Times. He had shown it to me some years back when it first appeared. It concerned a seven-year-old boy...

1987: The Academy Awards

John Boorman

John Boorman was born in London in 1933. After working as a film reviewer for magazines and radio, he joined the BBC in 1955 as an assistant editor, and later directed a number of documentaries. His first feature was ‘Catch Us If You Can’ in 1965. His latest film, Country of My Skull, opens in 2003. He is a five-time Academy Award-nominee, and was twice awarded Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for Leo the Last (1970) and The General (1998). He is the author of Money Into Light: The Emerald Forest - A Diary, as well as the being the co-founder and editor of Faber & Faber's long-running series Projections: Film-makers on Film-making. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Adventures of a Suburban Boy

Faber and Faber Limited, 2003

Book chapter

...I was urged by Columbia to attend the awards. Los Angeles, the whore city, had put on her prettiest frock when the jumbo carrying Christel and me flopped on to the runway after eleven hours aloft – Hockney-blue skies, palms a-flutter, none...

1988: Where the Heart Is

John Boorman

John Boorman was born in London in 1933. After working as a film reviewer for magazines and radio, he joined the BBC in 1955 as an assistant editor, and later directed a number of documentaries. His first feature was ‘Catch Us If You Can’ in 1965. His latest film, Country of My Skull, opens in 2003. He is a five-time Academy Award-nominee, and was twice awarded Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for Leo the Last (1970) and The General (1998). He is the author of Money Into Light: The Emerald Forest - A Diary, as well as the being the co-founder and editor of Faber & Faber's long-running series Projections: Film-makers on Film-making. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Adventures of a Suburban Boy

Faber and Faber Limited, 2003

Book chapter

...I was emboldened by the success of Hope and Glory to attempt another personal film. Hope and Glory was about being a son; this one would be about being a father, drawing on the lives of my four growing-up children and their friends...

Shooting Deliverance, Shooting the Chatooga

John Boorman

John Boorman was born in London in 1933. After working as a film reviewer for magazines and radio, he joined the BBC in 1955 as an assistant editor, and later directed a number of documentaries. His first feature was ‘Catch Us If You Can’ in 1965. His latest film, Country of My Skull, opens in 2003. He is a five-time Academy Award-nominee, and was twice awarded Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for Leo the Last (1970) and The General (1998). He is the author of Money Into Light: The Emerald Forest - A Diary, as well as the being the co-founder and editor of Faber & Faber's long-running series Projections: Film-makers on Film-making. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Adventures of a Suburban Boy

Faber and Faber Limited, 2003

Book chapter

...We were well prepared. I had canoed the river myself several times. There were stretches of rapids that were rated too difficult to run in an open canoe. Those were the ones I planned to shoot (in both senses of that word). We were using...

Return of the Soldier

John Boorman

John Boorman was born in London in 1933. After working as a film reviewer for magazines and radio, he joined the BBC in 1955 as an assistant editor, and later directed a number of documentaries. His first feature was ‘Catch Us If You Can’ in 1965. His latest film, Country of My Skull, opens in 2003. He is a five-time Academy Award-nominee, and was twice awarded Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for Leo the Last (1970) and The General (1998). He is the author of Money Into Light: The Emerald Forest - A Diary, as well as the being the co-founder and editor of Faber & Faber's long-running series Projections: Film-makers on Film-making. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Adventures of a Suburban Boy

Faber and Faber Limited, 2003

Book chapter

...It was 1953. I persuaded Christel to follow me to London and she took a job in a hospital in Tottenham. I was sucked along by her vitality. She had a strong peasant constitution. Life filled her and overflowed; it was her health I loved...