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danny boyle Archives - Funerals & Snakes

Review: Trance, Eternity, The Whale and The Perks of Being a Wallflower

By Cinema and Reviews

trance-1

Danny Boyle is one of my favourite directors. From Shallow Grave in 1994 to 127 Hours in 2010, his work has stimulated and inspired me. I re-watched Trainspotting the other day and it still made everything else I saw that week seem old-fashioned. Everything, that is, except Trance which just happens to be Boyle’s new film, a return to cinemas after directing the biggest theatre show of all time — the Olympic Games opening ceremony which was seen by an audience of — ooh — about 900 million people.

Trance posterTrance returns Boyle to his $20m budget comfort zone and his new lightweight digital filmmaking style. It also reunites him with screenwriter John Hodge (Trainspotting) so it should be all systems go, yes?

Not quite. In Trance, James McAvoy plays an art expert with a problem. Instead of helping a gang of thugs steal a very expensive painting from his auction house he actually tries to steal it himself, getting a whack on the head for his trouble. Now he can’t remember where he left the painting and the gang are trying everything from fingernail-pulling to hypnotherapy to help him remember where it is.

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Montage

By Cinema and Video

On Tuesday night I was privileged to host a new initiative from the Light House Cinema chain — a brief survey of a director’s career prior to a special preview of their latest film. In this case, the director was Danny Boyle and his new film, Trance, will be reviewed here on Monday. I had a jolly good time re-watching the films and sourcing clips and even managed to produce this little montage video by way of introduction. (Warning: the audio is the opening monologue from Trainspotting and so is almost certainly NSFW.)

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/63132038[/vimeo]

 

It’s not the first time that I have fooled around with iMovie this way. Last year I was asked by Downstage Theatre to produce a short video introducing Sam Neill before his fundraiser Q&A, An Innocent Abroad.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/46812870[/vimeo]

 

They are very enjoyable, these little projects, even though I have to re-learn iMovie every time I do them. Perhaps, if I don’t get one of the two dream jobs I want here in New Zealand I could be put to work on those In Memoriam videos they play at the Oscars every year.

Cinematica 3/25: Smoke & Mirrors

By Audio and Cinema

Cinematica_iTunes_200_crop[iframe style=“border:none” src=“http://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/2274005/height/100/width/280/thumbnail/yes/theme/standard” height=“100” width=“280” scrolling=“no”]

NZFF Director Bill Gosden joins us for the whole show, Simon goes into a Trance watching the new Danny Boyle, Kailey reports back from the land of romance-obsessed teenage girls (The Host) and Dan enlists in Hasbro’s own special forces — the G.I. Joes.

Check out this episode

Review: 127 Hours, Gnomeo & Juliet, No Strings Attached and Fair Game

By Cinema and Reviews

127 Hours posterDanny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire was my film of the year for 2009 — a potent and punchy roller-coaster ride of a film that made everything for months afterwards seem quaintly old-fashioned. His new film, 127 Hours, doesn’t break the mould to quite the same degree but does feature similar stylistic effects: messing with time and structure, split-screens, domineering soundtrack, etc.

The new film is also an adaptation of previously existing material, Aron Ralston’s memoir “Between a Rock and a Hard Place”, and once again Boyle has collaborated with screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (notorious in New Zealand for The Full Monty). Ralston (played by James Franco) was an engineer by trade but an outdoorsman by inclination and he loved to roam the Utah canyons on bike and on foot. In 2003 he fall into a narrow ravine and his right arm was trapped by a boulder. He was there for five days before realising that the only way he was going to walk out was if he left the arm behind.

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2009 Wellington Cinema Year in Review

By Cinema

Welcome to the 2010 “cut out and keep” guide to video renting (or downloading or however you consume your home entertainment these days). I suggest you clip this article, fold it up, stick it in your wallet or purse and refer to it whenever you are at the video shop, looking for something to while away the long winter evenings of 2010.

First up, the ones to buy – the Keepers. These are the films that (if you share my psychology and some of my pathologies) you will cherish until you are old and the technology to play them no longer exists. Best film of the year remains Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire. Mashing together several archetypal stories with a vivid visual style and a percussive energy, Slumdog may not represent India as it actually is but instead successfully evoked what India feels like, which is arguably more important. After Slumdog everything I saw seemed, you know, old-fashioned and nothing has been anywhere nearly as thrilling since. There are films you respect, films you admire and films you love. Slumdog is a film you adore. “Who wants to be a … miyonaire?” indeed.

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Review: Where the Wild Things Are, The Informant!, The Time Traveller’s Wife, Zombieland and The Cake Eaters

By Cinema and Reviews

Is it too early to suggest that we might be living in a golden age of cinema? Think of the filmmakers working in the commercial realm these days who have distinctive voices, thrilling visual sensibilities, solid intellectual (and often moral) foundations, a passion for combining entertainment with something more — along with an abiding love of cinema in all its strange and wonderful forms.

I’m thinking of the Coens, obviously, but also Peter Jackson (and protégé Neill Blomkamp), Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz and the forthcoming Scott Pilgrim), Jason Reitman (Juno and January’s Up in the Air), Guillermo Del Toro (working hard on The Hobbit in Miramar), and even Tarantino is still producing the goods. This week we are lucky enough to get new work from two others who should be in that list: Spike Jonze and Steven Soderbergh.

Where the Wild Things Are posterJonze made his name with oddball stories like Being John Malkovich and Adaptation and the first thing you notice about his interpretation of the beloved Maurice Sendak children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are, is that it simply doesn’t resemble anything else you’ve ever seen. With the help of writer Dave Eggers (the novel “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius”, Away We Go) he has used the book as a starting point for a beautiful and sensitive meditation on what it is like to be a child (a boy child specifically).

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