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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...