Mike Leigh

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Mike Leigh (born 20 February 1943) is an award winning British film director. He has made a number of films, usually choosing "down to earth" subjects and subject matter. His films are usually set in London.

In his cinematographic career, which he pursued quite late in his life, he has won several prizes in some of the major European film festivals. Most notably he won the Best Director award at Cannes for Naked in 1993 and the Palme d'Or in 1996 for Secrets & Lies.

He won the Leone d'Oro for the best film at the International Venice Film Festival in 2004 with Vera Drake. The film gained him a 2005 Academy Award nomination for direction.

Mike Leigh uses lengthy improvisations developed over a period of weeks to build characters and storylines for his films. He starts with some sketch ideas of how he thinks things might develop, but does not reveal all his intentions with the cast who discover their fate and act out their responses as their destinies are gradually revealed.

Initial preparation is in private with the director and then the actors are introduced to each other in the order that their characters would have met in their lives. Intimate moments are explored that will not even be referred to in the final film to build insight and understanding of history, character and inner motivation. The critical scenes in the eventual story are performed and recorded in full-costumed, real-time improvisations where the actors encounter for the first time new characters, events or information which may dramatically affect their character's lives.

Final filming is more traditional as definite sense of story, action and dialogue is then in place. The director reminds the cast of material from the improvisations that he hopes to capture on film.


Filmography

External links

de:Mike Leigh fr:Mike Leigh it:Mike Leigh he:מייק לי nl:Mike Leigh ja:マイク・リー fi:Mike Leigh sv:Mike Leigh

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