The Cinema of Mike Leigh: A Sense of the Real

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Wallflower Press, 2004 - Performing Arts - 207 pages
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A keen observer of manners and mores, Mike Leigh has been hailed as a celebrator of "ordinary" people, yet it wasn't until relatively recently that audiences have been able to appreciate the full body of his work. In discussing all his films from Bleak Moments and High Hopes through Naked, the Oscar-nominated Secrets and Lies and Topsy Turvy, to All or Nothing, Garry Watson considers this claim, examining the films'influence and their effect.

At the same time, he takes on the very concepts of "the real" and "the ordinary" in regard to Leigh's work, challenging much perceived thinking among critics and moviegoers alike. To what category does the director's work really belong? Is it British Realism? The avant garde? Through careful textual detail and wider social and literary comparison with the works of Charles Dickens and T. S. Eliot, he argues ultimately for the aritistic and cultural significance of Leigh's work as one of Britian's most respected filmmakers.

  

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Contents

Revising Our Expectations
3
The Extraordinary Element of TooMuchness at the Heart of
18
In Pursuit of the Real
27
Two Womenon the other side of silence
35
Leigh and Lawrence on the middleclass thing and What it
50
On Stupidity Taste Anger
66
Comedies Celebrating Marriage the Family and the Pursuit
85
Leighs Traumatising Seducer
103
In Search of the Missing MotherDaughter
125
A Metacommentary on Leighs Art and an Exploration of
139
The Utopian Element
149
In the messianic light
164
A Sense of the Real
184
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Mike Leigh
Tony Whitehead
Snippet view - 2007
Mike Leigh
Tony Whitehead
No preview available - 2007
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About the author (2004)

Edward D. berkowitz is professor of history and public policy and public administration at George Washington University. He is the author of eight books and the editor of three collections. During the seventies he served as a staff member of the President's Commission for a National Agenda, helping President Carter plan for a second term that never came to be.

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