Mike Leigh Quotes

Enjoy the top 64 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Mike Leigh.

Mike Leigh Quotes

The whole thing about making films in an organic film on location is that its not all about characters, relationships and themes, its also about place and the poetry of place. Its about the spirit of what you find, the accidents of what you stumble across.
— Mike Leigh —

I'm old enough to have friends and contemporaries who have long since retired, and that's their prerogative - enough is enough; it doesn't mean a thing to me. But I haven't got any money, so, you know, I just keep on working.

— Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh Quotes: My work requires acting at its most
My work requires acting at its most committed - it demands actors of enormous resilience, but also intelligence and wit. It doesn't work for narcissistic or selfish actors.

— Mike Leigh

I mean, artistic processes are all about making choices all the time, and the very act of making a choice is the distilling down and the getting to the core of what it is that you care about and what you want to say, really.

— Mike Leigh

I think it's important that nobody forgets that although Hollywood commercially dominates the world cinema, in fact what comes out of the filmmaking here is only a tiny slice out of the massive amount of operation that goes on around the world.

— Mike Leigh

The whole thing about making films in an organic film on location is that it's not all about characters, relationships and themes, it's also about place and the poetry of place. It's about the spirit of what you find, the accidents of what you stumble across.

— Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh Quotes: My work is about life as you and i
My work is about life as you and I experience it. You're either lucky or you're not lucky; either your relationship works or it doesn't.

— Mike Leigh

Life is about luck and it's about circumstances and socioeconomic conditions and all the rest of it, but you know, you can also make choices. It's about spirit and generosity and all the other things, too.

— Mike Leigh

There's a constant drip and trickle of life that goes into one's awareness really and consciousness of things.

— Mike Leigh

Given the events of even the 19th century, Zionism was inevitable. Given the events of the 20th century, Israel was inevitable.

— Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh Quotes: But films should be voyeuristic what
But films should be voyeuristic. What else is a film if you're not snooping into somebody else's lives?

— Mike Leigh

I think Michael Caine is a perfectly good actor but it's obvious he's not going to be in one of my films.

— Mike Leigh

I'm developing the stuff all the time. There's a film in my head. I'm imagining a film.

— Mike Leigh

It creeps up on you and becomes an obsession. It comes out of watching a million movies.

— Mike Leigh

There are plenty of bad actors and there are plenty of bad directors. There are actors who will always be bad and there are good actors who you cry for because they're being badly directed or the material isn't good enough.

— Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh Quotes: You will find hardly any improvising on
You will find hardly any improvising on camera anywhere in my films. It's very structured, but it's all worked out from elaborate improvisations over a long period, as you know.

— Mike Leigh

I feel very much ideologically, politically if you like, and emotionally part of the European cinema.

— Mike Leigh

I've walked out of films. But for every film I've ever walked out of, I've probably walked out of 500 plays.

— Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh Quotes: Its important to be true to the events
It's important to be true to the events, but the most important thing is to get to the essence of the experience. Not to be bogged down in an academic way by a notion of the truth. First of all, the truth is an illusive and spurious concept.

— Mike Leigh

I do not make films which are prescriptive, and I do not make films that are conclusive. You do not walk out of my films with a clear feeling about what is right and wrong. They're ambivalent. You walk away with work to do. My films are a sort of investigation. They ask questions ... Sometimes I hear that some [Hollywood] studio is interested in me. Then they discover that this is the guy who works with no script, that there is no casting discussion, no interference, that I have the final cut, and that does it.

— Mike Leigh

For me the journey of making a film is a journey of discovery as to what that film is. I mean what I do is what other artists do, painters, novelists, people that make music, poets, sculptors, you name it. It's about starting out and working with the material and discovering through making, working with the material the artifact.

— Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh Quotes: Independent filmmaking has always been
Independent filmmaking has always been there and it's not to be forgotten.

— Mike Leigh

There is a great tradition of independent filmmaking in the U.S. that I absolutely respect. There's some wonderful stuff that comes out in this country against all the odds.

— Mike Leigh

I hope I make films where you walk away ... with work to do, arguments to have, things to worry about, things to care about. In that sense, I would regard what I do as political.

— Mike Leigh

I am very happy to be part of European and world cinema as a British filmmaker.

— Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh Quotes: The main problem is that the hollywood
The main problem is that the Hollywood system has already made the film before the director shoots a single frame.

— Mike Leigh

One of the reasons the whole Hollywood way of making films wouldn't work for me is because the way I operate would be anathema to anyone who wants to hold a job down in Beverly Hills.

— Mike Leigh

Some of my favorite movies are Hollywood movies. Hollywood is part of the cinematic spectrum. I nurture a healthy love-hate relationship with Hollywood.

— Mike Leigh

A lot of the reasons that I'm resistant to making films in the U.S. have nothing to do with not doing a film in Hollywood, but rather to do with what I'm committed to working on in the U.K. I feel very committed to the British film industry and infrastructure.

— Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh Quotes: The problem with the british film
The problem with the British film industry is the nervousness and insecurity about - and genuflection toward - Los Angeles.

— Mike Leigh

I really think people are greatly stimulated and enriched by experiencing in film just as we can from novels and other art, experiencing things that resonate with what our lives are about. I think people really want to know ... want to share, want to have the stimulus to think and care about the way they live their lives, the way they relate to other people, their aspirations, their hopes, et cetera.

— Mike Leigh

The delineation between the actor and his part is a practical matter. When the camera runs, you want the actor to be the character.

— Mike Leigh

I can't negotiate and collaborate with a character to create a distilled dramatic investigation of the raw material. I need to work with an actor. That stuff about actors who stay in character all the time is nonsense.

— Mike Leigh

You can't make a movie about the artist without shooting outdoors.

— Mike Leigh

People have been very resistant to giving me more than the standard amount of money. So I keep making films on a similar scale. Which is fine, but also frustrating.

— Mike Leigh

He's [Constable] a great painter as far as it goes, but I don't think he's remotely interesting. Not really. It's very pretty and it's very thorough, but it's not evocative, it's not dramatic, it doesn't do what Beethoven does - it doesn't shake you down to the roots of your soul, which Turner does. Constable is just very nice, basically. And moving on to personality, Constable was a very dull character.

— Mike Leigh

When it comes to thinking about how a character talks, there are literary and language considerations. For actors to be able to differentiate between themselves and the characters they are playing while at the same time remain in character and spontaneous requires a sophisticated combination of skills and spirit.

— Mike Leigh

I know, that trends and all of those things and formulae that calculate what audiences want to see and what audiences don't want to see and various other demographic demarcations are the eccentric and ludicrous prerogative of Hollywood studios. But out there in the real world - by which I mean the rest of the world where we make truthful organic films, independent films unimpeded by interference - it's not about all those sort of calculating what is commercial. It's about wanting to say things and saying them in a way that will get through to people.

— Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh Quotes: I grew up looking at going to the movies
I grew up looking at ... going to the movies a lot, as much as they'd let you. I grew up in Manchester in the north of England in the '40s and '50s. I saw a lot of movies. They were all Hollywood and British movies. I didn't see a film that wasn't in English until I was 17 when I went to London to be a student.

— Mike Leigh

When I was young I used to sit in the cinema thinking wouldn't it be great if you could have a film in which the characters were like real people instead of being like actors.

— Mike Leigh

If a film or any piece of work doesn't entertain, it fails - and that is using the word entertain literally, meaning it holds you there and you become absorbed by it so that you don't walk away and get bored and so on.

— Mike Leigh

There have always been and there always will be the peripheral sideline activities which are a form of entertainment, which is to say you pay a couple of cents and you see something freakish. That is what reality TV is.

— Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh Quotes: I cant really see how anybody could be
I can't really see how anybody could be particularly optimistic about the future in general because we are destroying the planet.

— Mike Leigh

I HAVE TO GET OUT OF BED EVERY DAY TO MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN.

— Mike Leigh

In the first place, I'm pretty thorough about whom I choose. I instinctively look for the kind of actor who is going to be trusting. There are all kinds of insecure people out there called actors.

— Mike Leigh

The reason my films work is because every actor on set is very secure. They're able to fly.

— Mike Leigh

Very occasionally I hire an actor and get it wrong. The actor just doesn't trust the process or me as fully as I thought they would. In this case, you can be quite sure that if an actor is untrusting, it's got nothing to do with me or the process.

— Mike Leigh

The notion that acting is simply about intuitively responding to situations the way you feel couldn't be farther away from how I ask actors to work.

— Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh Quotes: I hate period films and there are plenty
I hate period films - and there are plenty of them - where they say, "Let's not do contemporary language because the audience won't understand it;" "let's not make the girls wear corsets, because it's not sexy" and all that sort of thing. Gradually it disintegrates into a no man's land: you don't really believe it's a period scene and it doesn't feel like it's now because it's not now. You don't feel it's quite real and you don't believe in it.

— Mike Leigh

I take no notice of the trends. It has never concerned me at all. My job is to deal with what I want to deal with and reach an audience by doing so.

— Mike Leigh

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