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.
...Down a dark alleyway in Manchester, Johnny (David Thewlis) is having rough sex with a woman. It’s hard to see exactly what is going on, but it’s clear she is starting to object, to struggle. Johnny runs off. He steals a car and drives...
...During the Britpop era of the 1990s, the name of Mike Leigh was invoked regularly both by musicians and the journalists who wrote about them. To compare a band or a record to Mike Leigh was to use a form of cultural shorthand...
William Verrone is Assistant Professor of Film and Literature at the University of North Alabama. He has published on a wide range of subjects, from Disney to Nick Cave and from Terry Gilliam to Ken Russell. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.
...Mike Leigh’s films and the characters who populate them have often been described as bleak, dreary, and even miserable, which may be true to a certain extent. But the films, as demonstrated through the rich and realistic characterization...
...Renowned for making films that are at once sly domestic satires and heartbreaking ‘social realist’ dramas, British writer-director Mike Leigh confronts his viewers with an un-romanticized dramatization of modern-day society in the hopes...
Tino Balio is Emeritus Professor of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.The 2001 recipient of the inaugural Academy Film Scholar Grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Balio has written widely on the historical development of Hollywoodand the American film industry. He is the author of a two-volume history of United Artists, Grand Design: Hollywood as a Modern Business Enterprise, 1930–1939 (1996), and The Foreign Film Renaissance on American Screens, 1946–1973 (2010). Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.
...The independent film market is headquartered in New York City and is run by numerous small distributors who typically acquire their pictures as pickups at film festivals. The term ‘independent’ has meant different things at different times...
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