Mike Leigh and Francine Stock

The writer-director Mike Leigh is one of world cinema’s pre-eminent figures, a multi-award winning writer-director and one of Britain’s most internationally recognised and critically acclaimed filmmakers. He joins 5x15 to talk about his life and work in an unmissable online conversation with the long-time presenter of The Film Programme, Francine Stock.

The subject of a major retrospective this October at the British Film Institute, Mike Leigh is a seven-time Oscar nominee and the winner of five BAFTAs. The only British director to have won the top prize at both Cannes (for Secrets & Lies) and Venice (for Vera Drake), his tragi-comic cinematic worlds have reflected the times and become part of our nation’s cultural landscape.

In Mike Leigh on Mike Leigh, the director reflects on films including his much-loved Mr Turner and recent epic Peterloo; classic films including Nuts In May and Abigail’s Party; his approach to universal themes; his inimitable working method of developing characters through improvisation; and the influences that have shaped his vision.

Above all, Mike Leigh is one of our greatest storytellers – passionate, forthright, witty and the maker of a unique body of work. In his critically-lauded films, bleakness and humour comingle, with always unforgettable results.

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The Last Tree on Easter Island- Penguin Green Ideas with Jared Diamond

Life on earth has become irrevocably altered by humans. What can we do to acknowledge our impact on the earth and pave the way for a fairer, saner, greener world?Join 5x15 for this urgent and unmissable Penguin Classics series of Green Ideas special event with Jared Diamond who discusses his short book The Last Tree on Easter Island.The Last Tree on Easter Island is Jared Diamond's haunting account of visiting the mysterious stone statues of Easter Island. As the multi-award winning author and geographer proposes in his best-selling book, Collapse, Easter Island is the ‘clearest example of a society that destroyed itself by overexploiting its own resources.’Diamond’s new book hones in on this theme with powerful brevity. In his exploration of how a remote civilization dismantled itself by exploiting its own natural resources he urges us to recognise why we must heed this warning for our own era.Penguin Green Ideas: The Last Tree on Easter Island is in the Penguin Classics series of Green Ideas; twenty short books which bring you the ideas that have changed the way we think and talk about the living earth and together point the way to a fairer, saner, greener world. This Autumn 5x15 is working on a number of talks with the ground breaking authors from the Green Ideas series.Jared Diamond is a Professor of Geography at UCLA and a noted polymath whose books about human societies blend biology, geography, anthropology, linguistics and history. He is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the seminal million-copy-bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel, which was named one of Time magazine's best non-fiction books of all time, Collapse, a No. 1 international bestseller, and Upheaval: How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change, among other books.