Director Mike Leigh at Burgh House: ‘I first decided to make films at my grandfather’s funeral’

PUBLISHED: 11:00 09 February 2014

Film director Mike Leigh at Burgh House as part of the Lifelines series of talks. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Film director Mike Leigh at Burgh House as part of the Lifelines series of talks. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email

Mike Leigh was quizzed by fans about his upcoming film, and the thoughts, processes and accidental moments in the work that has made him one of the most respected writers and directors in the county

A full-house crowd came to listen to Lifelines with Mike Leigh at Burgh House on Thursday last week.

The man responsible for classics such Abigail’s Party, Vera Drake and Naked, for which he was awarded Best Director at Cannes, was interviewed by Piers Plowright.

Mr Leigh is currently filming Mr Turner starring Timothy Spall, about the life of artist JM Turner, due for release this year. He was asked by the audience about his reasons for filming in Cornwall, not Margate, where Turner enjoyed painting in the 19th century. He said Margate has been built up over the years.

Chatting about his various methods, his popularity with Japanese audiences following ­Secret & Lies, the BAFTA award-winning director said he first decided to make films at his grandfather’s funeral.

Looking at the congregation, he saw an emotional moment so full of small details that he wanted to make films about ordinary people.

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