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Billy Budd (England)

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The Mike Leigh Film Collection [DVD]
The Mike Leigh Film Collection [DVD]
Dvd ~ Estelle Harris

51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mike Leigh heaven., 11 April 2008
If you know and love Mike Leigh and live in the UK you may be slightly surprised at the way his output has been presented. Naked has never been made available officially (on DVD) until now, while other key films have drifted in and out of print. His TV work is particular hard to get hold of and bizarrely almost never repeated on the medium that originally hosted it.

This collection is particularly welcome then, presenting as it does, all his cinema work (And Meantime which I believe was made for TV just before Channel 4 branched out into Film 4).

It's packaged in a nice compact box set with a disc for each film, one for bonus material and completed with a 44 page "companion booklet" - Not a full book but far more thorough and useful than most DVD's shabby or non existent inserts. The booklet has Mike in conversation with Amy Raphael, a brief filmography and production credits for each film.

As for the films themselves, Mike Leigh is here in all his shades, from the poignant pastel comedy of 'Life Is Sweet' to the jet black rage of 'Naked'. In between you'll find a surprisingly varied mix from the period piece 'Topsy Turvy' to the bang on working class spirit depicted in 'Meantime' and 'High Hopes'. 10 films in all, each one unique and clearly a labour of love for the director and his cast.

Mike Leigh's films almost defy description but anyone who's seen and loved one of them knows that his art transcends the usual confines of drama or comedy and becomes something quite special. I eagerly await Leigh's new film, 'Happy-Go-Lucky' but until then this box set will more than suffice.
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