Danny Boyle - Lust for Life: A Critical Analysis of All the Films from Shallow Grave to 127 Hours
Danny Boyle is one of contemporary filmmaking's most exciting talents. Since the early 1990s he has steadily created a body of work that crosses genres and defies easy categorisation, from black humour (Shallow Grave), gritty realism (Trainspotting), screwball comedy (A Life Less Ordinary), cult adaptations (The Beach), and horror (28 Days Later), to science fiction (Sunshine), children's drama (Millions), love stories (Slumdog Millionaire) and tales of personal redemption (127 Hours). Unlike many of his peers, Boyle seems most comfortable when working with modest budgets, relying on acting ability rather than special effects, and surrounding himself with a trusted team of writers, cinematographers and production designers. His restless energy, vitality and drive find their expression in the celebratory tone of his films – their lust for life.In this book, Mark Browning provides a rigorous but highly accessible analysis of Boyle's work, discussing the processes by which he absorbs generic and literary influences, the way he gains powerful performances both from inexperienced casts and A-list stars, his portrayal of regional identity, his use of moral dilemmas as a narrative trigger, and the religious undercurrents that permeate his films.
to polarise between those who love it and those who hate it. Generically, it is a romantic comedy but it - bravely or foolishly, depending on your point of view - tries to stretch audience expectations by drawing on a key subgenre of this group - the so-called ‘screwball comedy’. Pitcher Carl Hubbell (who played for the New York Giants, 1928-1943) developed a kind of baseball pitch in which the ball moved in unexpected ways, and screwball comedy has similar unpredictable twists and turns.
to kill her. There may be brief screwball interludes in other genres, such as Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps (1939), in the sequence where a couple, who barely known each other, are handcuffed together and who eventually fall in love. There has also been some sideways movement of screwball into the caper movie (such as Steven Soderbergh’s Oceans franchise from 2001, 2004 and 2007) but in general terms, screwball had only stuttering success after its heyday in the 1930s and 40s. To postwar
that may look undramatic, such as the simulation of zero gravity, are immensely time-consuming and difficult to set up and film. Sunshine is certainly not a flawless film. There are some strange plot-holes and at times the derivative nature of the script threatens to overwhelm the narrative, making it a patchwork of allusions. The dialogue sporadically echoes one of Scotty’s exclamations from Star Trek (Mace’s ‘it sounds like she’s tearing apart’) or Han Solo’s warning to Luke in Star Wars
narrative to Swarup’s novel, to a sense of destiny and to conventions of Bollywood love stories. Stam extends Genette’s term beyond texts to include ‘posters, trailers, reviews, interviews’ and even DVD commentaries. Boyle’s commentaries, compared to many of his contemporaries, are particularly energetic and enthusiastic and he seems happy to embrace this means of connecting with his audience. That said, Boyle seems to avoid what he would see as ‘unnecessary’ comments about his work, unless
breathing to simulate fear, such that Boyle can almost appear bullying in his directorial technique - but it works.  See ‘Sherlock star Cumberbatch to play Frankenstein on stage,’ 29 October 2010, www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainmentarts-11651495 Boyle has particularly strong faith in the people around him and believes that, if correctly chosen, they will work together to create something greater than the sum of their parts. Intelligent (and perhaps lucky) casting plays a part here and he has