The British director Mike Leigh has been making critically acclaimed films and plays for 50 years. He is perhaps best known for his collaborative, improvisation-led approach, which involves rehearsing with an ensemble cast over an extended period of time. Much like real life, a Mike Leigh film is recalled not in chronological plot terms, but in single, impressionistic shots that contain everything there is to know: a mother standing in the doorway of her teenage daughter’s bedroom in Life Is This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-One Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Films Music Issue 42 Peer Review Iranian artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat pays homage to the iconic Egyptian singer Oum Kulthum. Films Issue 41 Isabel Sandoval On the limits of autobiography. Films Issue 40 Bad Idea: Smell-o-Vision The quixotic history of an improbable, impossible machine. Films Issue 38 Miranda July In Los Angeles, Miranda July talks to Robert Ito about pouring the fear, pleasure and unspoken weirdness of life into her genre-bending art. Films Issue 36 Phillip Youmans The 20-year-old director talks to Sharine Taylor about walking the tightrope between teen prodigy and award-winning filmmaker. Films Issue 33 Desiree Akhavan The Iranian-American filmmaker bringing her “weird and sexy” stories—and her parents—to set.