The Regis Dialogue, now in its 19th year, pairs well-known filmmakers with respected film critics. This year is the year of Mike Leigh and Scott Foundas. Leigh has been making films (with some brief asides into television) for 37 years, and employs an unusual technique: After the players are cast for his projects, they spend the next six months in workshops and rehearsals, collaborating to ensure complete character development and immersion. This creative policy has served him well: The terrifyingly misogynistic Johnny (David Thewlis in a ground-breaking role) in Naked, Gilbert and Sullivan (Jim Broadbent and Sir Arthur Sullivan) in the sprawling Topsy-Turvy, and the back-alley abortionist (Imelda Staunton) in Vera Drake all have won Leigh and his stable of actors acclaim internationally. Most of his films are set in London, and often speak to class struggle, while making mundane events compellingly funny, fantastical, and heartbreaking (Life Is Sweet, Secrets and Lies, and All or Nothing being prime examples). This Wednesday Mike Leigh discusses a life in film with L.A. Weekly critic Scott Foundas.
Wed., Oct. 15, 7:30 p.m., 2008