In this session of Lockdown Film School, acclaimed filmmaker Mike Leigh joins us for a masterclass on his approach to writing and directing.
Who is Mike Leigh?
Mike Leigh is a multi-Oscar-nominated writer-director, perhaps best known for his Palme D’Or winner Secrets & Lies, BAFTA-winner Vera Drake, and most recently, Mr Turner and Peterloo. After studying acting at RADA in the 1960s, he quickly switched to film school, before beginning to devise and direct his own plays. He would later adapt some of these plays for the screen for the BBC’s Play for a Day program. His films are regulars at the Croisette, regularly picking up awards for his actors, like David Thewlis in Naked and Timothy Spall in Mr Turner, as well as for his own direction. He’s one of our great working directors, and has already won Lifetime Achievement Awards, including from the Gotham Awards, the San Francisco International Film Festival, and the Odesa International Film Festival.
Where can you stream Mike’s films?
High Hopes (1988): Stream on Criterion Channel in Canada and the US; BBC iPlayer or Prime in the UK.
Life is Sweet (1990): Stream on Criterion Channel in Canada; Criterion Channel or DIRECTV in the US.
Naked (1993): Stream on Criterion Channel in Canada and the US.
Secrets & Lies (1996): Stream on Criterion Channel or Crave in Canada; Criterion Channel and HBO Max in the US.
Career Girls (1997): Stream on Criterion Channel in Canada; Criterion Channel and DIRECTV in the US; rent for 99p on Amazon in the UK.
Topsy-Turvy (1999): Stream on Hoopla in Canada and the US.
All or Nothing (2002): Stream on Criterion Channel in Canada; Criterion Channel, Vudu, Pluto TV, and Prime in the US.
Vera Drake (2004): Stream on Criterion Channel in Canada and the US, and SBS Movies in Australia.
Happy-Go-Lucky (2008): Stream on Criterion Channel and Hoopla in Canada and the US; Prime in the UK.
Another Year (2010): Stream on Criterion Channel, Tubi, and Prime in Canada; Criterion Channel in the US.
Mr. Turner (2014): Stream on Tubi, Hoopla, and Prime in Canada.
Peterloo (2018): Stream on Prime in the US and UK, and Hoopla in Canada.
In early 2019, we wrote the ebook Peterloo in process: A Mike Leigh collaboration. If you’d like to continue exploring Mike Leigh’s process, which he began to elucidate in this masterclass, this ebook is essential reading.
Peterloo in process is the first book to take a 360-degree look at Leigh’s process by interviewing him and his heads of department. Leigh’s unusual, month-long rehearsal and script-writing process is often described as a “mystery,” but through our wide range of interviews we managed to lay it out in quite clear detail.
We’re sure you’ll love Sunday’s masterclass with Leigh either way, but Peterloo in process(which is a short and brisk read) will certainly enrich your experience. We’ll be building on what we learned in the book with Mike on Sunday.