I remember a year and a half ago when I went with some friends to Hollywood’s Arclight theatre for the first time. It was to see Danny Boyle’s SUNSHINE. Long heralded to me the best theatre in Southern California I was absolutely amazed that, in a year where all the blockbusters so far had been screened at large AMC brand theatres that, for whatever fucking reason imaginable, seemed to have only Front of House speakers working, here was the best sound design I’d experienced ‘live’ in a while and it was in such glorious, gorgeous surround that it ripped my freakin’ face off and launched it across the room, where it clung briefly to some kid’s popcorn box and then dripped down to the floor. The Arclight’s sound is indeed amazing, but that is not what this blog is about. This blog is about the man who directed the movie within which some of the most dazzling Sci-Fi visual and sound effects I’ve seen since Kubrick’s masterpiece 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. This blog is about Danny Boyle.
Reasons I love Danny Boyle:
TRAINSPOTTING: a wonderful adaptation of one of my favorite author’s books.
His ongoing relationship with one of my favorite musical groups, UNDERWORLD*
28 DAYS LATER, for somehow combining Romero’s THE CRAZIES with his original three LIVING DEAD films and making it British and AWESOME.
His meticulous dedication to sound design as much as his visual craft.
And for doing as many different types of films as possible, all sublime and poetic even in their often harsh subject matter (I have not seen MILLIONS yet but I’m dying to see his take on what I’ve heard is essentially a kids’ movie).
In keeping with his seemingly endless streak of fabulous movies SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE is a harsh, vibrant, violent piece of human emotion – a tale that weaves together images and scenarios of the human existence that will no doubt hit a lot of people unfamiliar with life outside of Western Civilization like firsthand culture shock. It’s fair to say some people I’ve talked to almost left sick at times, yet unlike much of the recent ‘gritty, reality-based’ cinema Boyle never loses touch with the line between the viewer and the film – you might feel sick one minute but there is narrative salvation coming down the pipes in the form of laughs, action and genuine triumph of the human spirit. In other words, Danny Boyle gives us a serious film that never takes itself too seriously, and therein lies his ability to do a Sci-Fi, a quasi-Bollywood, a Horror and any other type of movie he chooses and NEVER fall into the trappings of any genre or style.
I’ve already decided Brad Anderson’s TRANSSIBERIAN is my movie of ’08 (unless Aronofsky or Fincher knock it loose) but so far, Danny Boyle’s Slumdog is a very close second.
Now I’m praying he stays true to the intention of doing Irvine Welsh’s PORNO** next (well, he never said next exactly, but it’s gotta be soon) and I’ll be really fucking happy!!!
* If you are unfamiliar with Underworld I implore you to check out their Anthology 1992-2002 which is an excellent representation of their work and the only anthology I know of that combines songs I was already familiar (mostly) in new ways and works as an independent album. Sure I love Moaner or King of Snake on the album BEAUCOUP FISH (Underworld’s best) but I love them here juxtaposed with Two Months Off and Cowgirl in a different way.
** Porno of course is the sequel to Trainspotting, however, if your keeping score and intend on reading it before the film (you’ve got the time) there is also Welsh’s GLUE, which takes place between the two. Porno is actually a sequel to both novels, as it combines characters from both.