Following a screening of Another Year, Mike Leigh joins us to discuss this, his latest and perhaps most autobiographical work. One of the UK's most consistently surprising directors, his previous film Happy-Go-Lucky told the the story of an unshakeably cheerful schoolteacher. That represented a departure in tone from his other work, and Another Year seems a move back to more familiar territory. Leigh reveals a sense that in some way he moved on from his last subject needing to satisfy an urge for introspection.
The outward idiosyncrasies of his approach are broached but Leigh insists any novelty only seems so from the outside. It is the tried and trusted process that allows him to do the work he feels compelled to; it is the very language of his filmmaking. He discusses in detail how the shifts in focus and isolated images of Another Year still leave room to to refer back to ideas that are best captured by the ensemble. He talks about wanting to resolve how a sense of hope and a sense of the future can be sustained in later life, and describes a film that ponders how notions of togetherness, positivity, loneliness, age and memory are refigured for those amongst us with travel passes.