Saturday, October 4, 2008

Mike Leigh and a Cropped EzraPounded

Two Dollar Tuesday matinees at the LACMA would reel me in to the dark side, making me ditch work to watch old movies. Speaking of old, I would be the only youngster in sight. Octogenarians populated the Bing Theater, and there would often be fights. The hard-of-hearing would say, "What did he say?" and some termagant oldie would scratch out a venomous "Be quiet!" I once forced BaddicusFinch along for a movie ditch day to see Hitchcock's I Confess, and he witnessed the mad bickering, so I'm definitely not making this up.

Anyway, we were there last night to see Mike Leigh, one of my favorite directors. We saw a sneak preview of Happy-Go-Lucky, his new film with Sally Hawkins (she played Anne Elliot in Jane Austen's Persuasion). It was a hilarious movie...but I'm not going to review it for you. Just take my word for it. It was good.

I've always been drawn to Leigh's films because they are so real. His work is described as British realism. He hires actors that look like us...funny, without makeup, fat, pimply, lower class, and what have you. No perfect Hollywood rework here. He spoke after the screening ended, and he was pretty gracious. He was old, and I felt nervous that he might go the Newman way in the near future, so I, a photo phobe, swallowed my fear and asked for a picture. It's the one above but of course, I cropped myself out. Anyway, here is a list of my favorite Mike Leigh films:

• Home Sweet Home
• The Naked
• Career Girls
• Bleak Moments
• All or Nothing
• Life is Sweet
• Secrets and Lies
• Abigail's Party
• Meantime

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