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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...

1933: Semi-Detached Lives

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 born in a snowstorm, according to my mother. My father set out on foot to fetch the midwife and by the time they struggled back through the blizzard, my head had already ventured into the world.In the morning, my father left for work...

1948: A Turbulent Priest

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

...In the fourth form, the thrashings abated. However, I was accused of fighting in the street whilst wearing the school uniform – a cardinal sin. My accuser mistook me for someone else. I was caned in front of the whole school, and to my...

1952: The Blonde and the Dark Lady

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

...On the train back, Tim’s riddle spun in my brain like a bad tune that won’t go away. Tim’s last prank: he still had a hold over me. ‘It’s never really exhausted.’ As the train approached Malvern those improbable hills leapt out...

1955: Making News

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 trawled film and television for a job, anything, a way in. Commercial television was starting up, and there were openings. I landed a low-key post at Independent Television News, checking the news film that came in and preparing...

1978: Excalibur

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

...Like so many others at the time, I had read Carl Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections and had been moved and excited by it. I was soon steeped in his other works, and was particularly taken with his theory of archetypes. He often alludes...

Back to Cannes

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 took The Emerald Forest to the Cannes Film Festival where it was the closing film, out of competition. After Leo the Last and Excalibur, this was my third picture at the Festival. In other years I had taken part in seminars, hunted...

David Lean

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

...Woes seldom come singly, and shortly after Bill’s funeral, I saw a report in the paper that David Lean had been taken seriously ill, a month before he was due to start shooting Nostromo. I called and a very careful man answered, took my...

Enter the Japanese

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

...To get to Palau you climbed into an old Dakota in Guam, and five hours later you landed on a red dirt strip in Koror. It would be a week before the next plane came to get you. How were we to make a movie in this remote location? No hotels...

Marcello Mastroianni

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

...As we were writing the script, we kept thinking about Marcello Mastroianni, and soon we could imagine no one else in the role. I went to Venice to persuade him to do the movie. I found him sitting with Faye Dunaway on the terrace...