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A master filmmaker, Mike Leigh is just as well known for his working methods as he is for his finished products: throughout lengthy periods of exploration and improvisation, Leigh and his collaborators build their characters and narratives from the inside out, creating films that seem to have been woven from the very fibers of lived experience. The better part of Leigh’s work has dealt with contemporary life, but on a few occasions he has looked to the past—postwar England in Vera Drake; Victorian London in Topsy-Turvy, his marvelous film about Gilbert and Sullivan; and now, with his remarkable and long-gestating Mr. Turner, the early-19th-century world of Britain’s greatest painter (played by the inimitable Timothy Spall). We’re fortunate to have this brilliant artist joining us for a discussion about his work.