Mike Leigh (In Progress, 1971-1996)

The potential for cinema to contain the other arts is often used to denigrate films that lean towards one more than the other, but within the history of film, Leigh's focus on – and expansion of – the theater is a fascinating digression.

And who's to say his pictures don't contain the other arts? His depictions of Thatcher's England echo the photography of early Paul Graham or John Myers, or the grotesquerie of Martin Parr without the sheen. Turner is painting. And it's a musical every time Allison Steadman opens her mouth.

Leigh's biggest flaw, evident throughout but especially between 1977-1980, is not to take into account Spinoza, who endeavored "not to ridicule, bewail, or disdain human behaviour, but to…

  • Four Days in July

    1

  • The Short & Curlies

    2

  • Life Is Sweet

    3

  • Secrets & Lies

    4

  • Meantime

    5

  • Hard Labour

    6

  • Naked

    7

  • Bleak Moments

    8

  • The Permissive Society

    9

  • Career Girls

    10

  • Five-Minute Films: The Birth of the Goalie of the 2001 F.A. Cup Final

    11

  • Five-Minute Films: A Light Snack

    12

  • Five-Minute Films: Afternoon

    13

  • High Hopes

    14

  • A Sense of History

    15

  • Nuts in May

    16

  • Five-Minute Films: Probation

    17

  • Abigail's Party

    18

  • Home Sweet Home

    19

  • Grown-Ups

    20

  • Five-Minute Films: Old Chums

    21

  • The Kiss of Death

    22

  • Who's Who

    23