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Topsy-Turvy (1999)

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

...London, January 1884. Writer W. S. Gilbert ( Jim Broadbent) and composer Sir Arthur Sullivan ( Allan Corduner) have enjoyed ten hit operas in a row. Their comic operas, produced by impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte (Ron Cook),...

Embodiment (the actor’s work)

Sally Potter

Sally Potter is the award-winning writer/director of The Goldiggers, Orlando, The Tango Lesson, The Man Who Cried, Yes, Rage, and Ginger and Rosa. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Naked Cinema : Working with Actors

Faber & Faber, 2014

Book chapter

...Actors are what most people ‘see’ in a film. Audiences don’t look at the camera-work, the sets, the lighting, the design, the structure of the story – any of the multiple cinematic choices that the writer, the director and his or her team...

Rehearsals (why, not how)

Sally Potter

Sally Potter is the award-winning writer/director of The Goldiggers, Orlando, The Tango Lesson, The Man Who Cried, Yes, Rage, and Ginger and Rosa. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Naked Cinema : Working with Actors

Faber & Faber, 2014

Book chapter

...In film-making a formal rehearsal period is a luxury (unlike theatre, where it is thought of as an absolute necessity). In some cases the first time you work with an actor may be on the set. And some directors may favour this way...

Performing being a director (your work goes public)

Sally Potter

Sally Potter is the award-winning writer/director of The Goldiggers, Orlando, The Tango Lesson, The Man Who Cried, Yes, Rage, and Ginger and Rosa. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Naked Cinema : Working with Actors

Faber & Faber, 2014

Book chapter

...A lot of directors – even quite experienced ones – are secretly afraid of how they will appear to the crew and to the actors. They walk onto the set anxious that their own performance – that of being a director – is not going to be up...

Afterword

Sally Potter

Sally Potter is the award-winning writer/director of The Goldiggers, Orlando, The Tango Lesson, The Man Who Cried, Yes, Rage, and Ginger and Rosa. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Naked Cinema : Working with Actors

Faber & Faber, 2014

Book chapter

...Talking with the actors I have worked with on such different films felt like bringing them together into one space, a space flooded with the strong working memories that lead to a very particular form of mutual affection. I relished...

The monitor (use and abuse)

Sally Potter

Sally Potter is the award-winning writer/director of The Goldiggers, Orlando, The Tango Lesson, The Man Who Cried, Yes, Rage, and Ginger and Rosa. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Naked Cinema : Working with Actors

Faber & Faber, 2014

Book chapter

...Directors often fall into a trap whilst shooting of fixating on the monitor which shows and records the filming as it is happening. There are some valid reasons for this. Your naked eye may not be able to see the detail of the actor’s work...

Auditions (what really happens)

Sally Potter

Sally Potter is the award-winning writer/director of The Goldiggers, Orlando, The Tango Lesson, The Man Who Cried, Yes, Rage, and Ginger and Rosa. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Naked Cinema : Working with Actors

Faber & Faber, 2014

Book chapter

...Auditions are the standard way of meeting a variety of actors for smaller parts, and are often the only way to discover new people for lead roles too. Auditions are a difficult process and a peculiarly artificial way to meet people...

When the film comes out (you meet again)

Sally Potter

Sally Potter is the award-winning writer/director of The Goldiggers, Orlando, The Tango Lesson, The Man Who Cried, Yes, Rage, and Ginger and Rosa. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Naked Cinema : Working with Actors

Faber & Faber, 2014

Book chapter

...When your film is finished – after several years, at least, of dedicated full-time work, if you are a writer/ director – you will probably meet your lead actors again for festival premieres and then for the strange, confusing and sometimes...

Fear (your own and the actors’)

Sally Potter

Sally Potter is the award-winning writer/director of The Goldiggers, Orlando, The Tango Lesson, The Man Who Cried, Yes, Rage, and Ginger and Rosa. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Naked Cinema : Working with Actors

Faber & Faber, 2014

Book chapter

...Occasionally, when you’re shooting a scene, an actor will suddenly come up with a protest or demonstration of resistance to the script or your direction. They might say, ‘I don’t want to say this, it really doesn’t feel right...

Alessandro Nivola

Sally Potter

Sally Potter is the award-winning writer/director of The Goldiggers, Orlando, The Tango Lesson, The Man Who Cried, Yes, Rage, and Ginger and Rosa. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Naked Cinema : Working with Actors

Faber & Faber, 2014

Book chapter

...Alessandro took on the challenging role of Roland in Ginger & Rosa with enthusiasm. He sent a self-taped rendition of some scenes (the first time I had encountered this particular method), which had authority and exuded a keen intelligence....