John Schlesinger, who won an Oscar for directing Midnight Cowboy, was a consummate storyteller. The London-born director made two dozen other films including Sunday Bloody Sunday, Marathon Man, and the Madonna vehicle The Next Best Thing. His nephew, Ian Buruma, looked up to Schlesinger and dreamed of becoming a filmmaker, going so far as to attend film school before making his reputation as a journalist. Buruma interviewed Schlesinger toward the end of his life and edited his reminiscences in Conversations with John Schlesinger. In the introduction, Buruma recalls watching his uncle at work:

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The set of A Kind of Loving, to a ten-year-old boy, was not very thrilling. In the middle of a vast movie studio was the interior of a working class dwelling in the north of En