Badlands Collective screening + Q&A with director Mike Leigh
Here is the Genesis Cinema introduction:
Following the success of Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, now is the ideal time to revisit his 1999 film Topsy-Turvy, the director’s first period biopic and one of his grandest achievements. Both an exploration and celebration of the collaborative spirit in which his films are made, this richly entertaining and moving take on Gilbert & Sullivan’s production of The Mikado shares with Mr. Turner a vivid sense of period detail, a deft avoidance of biopic clichés and tremendous performances from Leigh’s regular ensemble. Topsy-Turvy is a thrillingly adventurous and satisfying picture, and The Badlands Collective is proud to present this screening on 35mm and pleased to host a Q&A with the director Mike Leigh after the film.
Chicago Reader review:
For all his versatility as a writer-director, I was surprised to learn that Mike Leigh (Secrets & Lies) had made a film about the genesis of Gilbert and Sullivan's mid-1880s comic opera The Mikado. Yet this 160-minute "backstage musical" is about something he knows intimately--the complex of personal, organizational, artistic, and cultural factors that go into putting on a show. Leigh begins with leisurely character sketches of composer Arthur Sullivan (Allan Corduner) and librettist William Gilbert (Jim Broadbent), two very different men whose collaboration appears to be at an end. Only after Gilbert's wife (Lesley Manville) drags him to a Japanese exhibition in London does The Mikado (and this movie) begin to take shape, and after that the film keeps getting better and better. The actors and actresses in the stage production, including Leigh regular Timothy Spall, all sing in their own voices, and Leigh's flair for comedy and sense of social interaction shine as he shows all the ingredients in The Mikado beginning to mesh. Thoroughly researched and unobtrusively upholstered, this beautifully assured entertainment about Victorian England is a string of delights. With Ron Cook, Wendy Nottingham, Eleanor David, Kevin McKidd, Shirley Henderson, Dorothy Atkinson, and many Leigh standbys, including Alison Steadman and Katrin Cartlidge.
Here (and above) is the trailer.