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Mike Leigh$
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Tony Whitehead

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719072369

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719072369.001.0001

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‘Really wants to direct’: formative years

‘Really wants to direct’: formative years

(p.11) 1 ‘Really wants to direct’: formative years
Mike Leigh

Tony Whitehead

Manchester University Press

This chapter begins with the discussion about Mike Leigh's parents and explains how he inculcated a desire to direct films. As a child, Leigh was a keen cinemagoer, experiencing a traditional diet of British and Hollywood features, newsreels, cartoons, serials and slapstick shorts. Leigh describes himself as unmotivated at secondary school and a natural rebel. He participated in a number of plays at Salford Grammar School and at the same time he was writing, directing and performing in revues for Habonim, the Zionist socialist youth movement, which provided him with most of his social life. He was also developing his skills as a cartoonist; an interesting talent in the light of his later reputation as a caricaturist. Eventually, looking at the advertisements in Plays and Players turned his thoughts to drama school.

Keywords:   film direction, cartoonist, Zionist socialist youth movement, drama school, Mike Leigh, caricaturist

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