Top 24 Mike Leigh Quotes

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

― 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

“I try and create for the audience something that relates to real-life experience.”

― Mike Leigh

“The good thing from my perspective is that nobody puts any pressure on me to say what it’s going to be. The backers accept that they don’t know what they are going to get.”

― Mike Leigh

“Film-makers should remain true to their principles and never compromise, there is a real revival in the British film industry but there is a danger that we will become colonial servants of Hollywood. We need to maintain our own integrity.”

― Mike Leigh

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

― Mike Leigh

“I’ve long since stopped worrying about how I’m portrayed in the press because ultimately it’s not that important. Everyone who knows me knows I do what I do with the greatest integrity.”

― Mike Leigh

“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

“Given the choice of Hollywood or poking steel pins in my eyes, I’d prefer steel pins.”

― 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

“It’s an unhealthy habit to say that life is what you make of it, and if you want to be happy, then you can be happy. That’s just rubbish, basically.”

― 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

“But actually I make films that I think are extremely sophisticated and cinematic.”

― Mike Leigh

“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

“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

“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

“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

“But films should be voyeuristic. What else is a film if you’re not snooping into somebody else’s lives?”

― Mike Leigh

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

― 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

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

― 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

“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
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