LJMU hosts talk by director Mike Leigh

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Screening of Mike Leigh's Naked. Pic © Demi Williams JMU Journalism

Screening of Mike Leigh’s Naked. Pic © Demi Williams JMU Journalism

Award winning writer and director, Mike Leigh, gave a unique insight into his work and inspiration when he spoke at Liverpool John Moores University.

Friday’s ‘In Conversation with’ event at Redmonds featured Leigh and included a special screening of his controversial 1993 film, Naked, starring David Thewlis, followed by a Q&A with attendees.

Leigh has written and directed countless films,  TV shows and TV films in his career, with Naked being one of his most famous. He has worked with many British actors like Gary Oldman, Imelda Staunton and Timothy Spall in the past and is well-known for beginning his projects without a script.

When Naked was initially released over 25 years ago, it received many negative responses for the subjects and themes portrayed and was said to be the end of a period of radical cinema. Leigh said that the film is about unacceptable male behaviour and he understands those responses.

Mr Leigh spoke to JMU Journalism about his film and its expected return in 2020, saying: “It is going to be re-released and it’ll be interesting to see how it is responded to.”

YouTube: Demi Williams

The director also spoke about the struggles of getting a film distributed to audiences with today’s modern cinema. He said: “The problem isn’t that there’s a lack of ideas or motivation or passion to make films about real life, it’s getting them in front of audiences.

“I think there’s room in cinema for films that are serious about life.”

Mr Leigh spoke about today’s streaming-driven era, saying: “You are insulting audiences by treating them like idiots when you could have more films that could engage people more, and assuming that audiences are not sophisticated, because they are very sophisticated if you allow them to be.”

He revealed that he is working on another small-budget picture that will be released some time in 2020.

About Demi Williams, JMU Journalism