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The Films of Mike Leigh

The Films of Mike Leigh

Part of Cambridge Film Classics

  • Date Published: August 2000
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521485180

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About the Authors
  • The Films of Mike Leigh is the first critical study of one of the most important and eccentric directors of British independent filmmaking. Although active since 1971, Leigh has only come to the attention of an international audience in the 1990s through films such as Secrets and Lies and Career Girls. Like Robert Altman and John Cassevetes, Leigh works improvisationally, beginning with a small group of actors around whom he builds his films during months of private rehearsal. The script is written during this process. Ray Carney examines Leigh's working method and films in the intellectual and social contexts in which they were created. He argues that Leigh cannot be simply considered within the British realist tradition of Osborne and Loach. All of Leigh's major box office successes, including Naked, Life is Sweet and High Hopes, are analyzed, interpreted, and shown to be among the finest examples of cinema.

    • This was the first critical study of Mike Leigh
    • Leigh is a filmmaker who generates much interest
    • The book offers philosophical consideration of the nature of art film
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… takes genuine pleasure in the exuberance, wit and intelligence of Leigh's cinema.' Paul Howson, The Times Higher Education Supplement

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2000
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521485180
    • length: 304 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 13 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Biographical and cultural introduction
    Stylistic introduction: living beyond consciousness
    1. Bleak Moments: fictitious selves
    2. Hard Labour: melting the freezing
    3. The Kiss of Death: temporal and spatial truth
    4. Nuts in May: defeating easy knowledge
    5. Abigail's Party: losing track of who you are
    6. Who's Who: we are the hollow men
    7. Grown-Ups: in praise of otherness
    8. Home Sweet Home: manufactured emotions
    9. Meantime: challenging forms of understanding
    10. High Hopes: loose relations
    11. Life is Sweet: circulation is the law of life
    12. Naked: alone in the dark
    Epilogue: the feel of life.

  • Authors

    Ray Carney, Boston University

    Leonard Quart, College of Staten Island

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