Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90403 Map
Mon, Apr 1, 2019 - Sun, Apr 7, 2019
Buy Tickets SHARE

BLEAK, BUT NEVER BORING: LIFE ACCORDING TO MIKE LEIGH
Presented with the support of British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles.

Mike Leigh has made an indelible mark on cinema with his committed realism and unwavering search for truth. Fascinated at an early age with acting and directing for the stage, Leigh began his career in the theater as an assistant director for the Royal Shakespeare Company. It was there that he began experimenting with actors, particularly in rehearsal, and developed his method of improvisation, which he would go on to perfect in films.

In 1971 Leigh directed his first feature, BLEAK MOMENTS, which followed the miserable experience of a working-class woman and her mentally disabled sister. Though the film was critically acclaimed, Leigh left features for 17 years to direct for British television, where much of his output dealt with the monotony of working-class life. Some of his most successful TV projects, however, reached far beyond British audiences - MEANTIME, Leigh’s bitter tale of sibling jealousy starring Tim Roth, Phil Daniels and Gary Oldman, was released in cinemas around the world and screened at the Berlin International Film Festival

Leigh finally returned to the big screen in 1988 with HIGH HOPES, a socially conscious tale of clashing beliefs within a family unit. LIFE IS SWEET struck an equally wonderful balance between despair and comedy, but NAKED offered a thoroughly brutal and nihilistic worldview. One of Leigh’s most challenging yet beautifully honest works, the 1993 film earned Best Director and Best Actor (for star David Thewlis) awards at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1996, Leigh took home the festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or, as well as several Oscar nominations, for SECRETS & LIES, which features an unforgettable performance by Brenda Blethyn.

Since then, Leigh has continued to direct searing social dramas that shed light on contemporary issues. His 2004 film VERA DRAKE, for example, garnered three Oscar nominations for its tragic portrayal of a British woman performing abortions in the 1950s. Though Leigh’s films all have a strong contemporary sensibility, the director has had considerable success with period films, including TOPSY-TURVY and MR. TURNER. The latest along these lines is the new PETERLOO, an impressive dramatic re-creation of the 1819 Peterloo Massacre in Manchester.

Series compiled by Gwen Deglise and Grant Moninger. Program notes by Chris LeMaire and Ben Simington.

We are thrilled to welcome Mike Leigh to the Aero Theatre for the new PETERLOO!
Aero TheatreMon, Apr 1, 2019 - Sun, Apr 7, 2019
Buy Tickets SHARE

Films in this Series at the Aero

Director Mike Leigh In Person!
Mon, Apr 1, 2019 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Fri, Apr 5, 2019 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Sat, Apr 6, 2019 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Sun, Apr 7, 2019 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre