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At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, 12 February 2009

Slumdog Millionaire 
directed by Danny Boyle.
January 2009
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... beautifully choreographed. Even the trains look as if they want to get in on the act. The movie is Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, now playing nearly everywhere and sporting ten Academy Award nominations. It’s a brittle and clever movie, often uncertain about its intentions, and sometimes, it seems, embarrassed about them, but the end is sheer ...


Richard Lloyd Parry: Alex Garland, 15 October 1998

The Beach 
by Alex Garland.
Penguin, 439 pp., £5.99, June 1997, 0 14 025841 8
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The Tesseract 
by Alex Garland.
Viking, 215 pp., £9.99, September 1998, 0 670 87016 1
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... of Alex Garland’s first novel, The Beach, one of cinema’s most fashionable young directors (Danny Boyle) and its most adored male star (Leonardo Di Caprio) are about to make a film version of it, a remarkable achievement for an author of 28, but in other ways an inevitable one. Few novels are so influenced by film as this one, in its ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Kitsch and Kilts in Celtic Park, 21 August 2014

... of a whole nation to cram onto an LED screen the length of Sauchiehall Street, plus they had Susan Boyle, the underdogs’ underdog, who is required by popular edict to sing with the winds of destiny blowing about her skirts. I think the wind machine at Parkhead might have been too strong, though, even for Scotland, clearly blowing the singer’s memory off ...


Jenny Turner: ‘T2 Trainspotting’, 16 February 2017

... almost corpsing into the camera, he’s enjoying himself so much. T2 Trainspotting does the trick Danny Boyle did with the London Olympics ceremony, reflecting its audience straight back on itself, only bigger and nicer and much, much better-looking, wrapping it in a shiny gift bag, tied up with a bow. The premise is that Renton is on his way back to ...


Will Self: Battersea Power Station, 18 July 2013

... the one they used for the Olympics’ closing ceremony, one of only seven iconic buildings that Danny Boyle chose.’ Inside the suite I took my squishy seat at an opulent lozenge of a table, Alison settled herself a few places off, Tincknell launched straight into his PowerPoint spiel – just as if I were some important oligarch or Chinese ...

The Thrill of It All

Michael Newton: Zombies, 18 February 2016

Zombies: A Cultural History 
by Roger Luckhurst.
Reaktion, 224 pp., £16, August 2015, 978 1 78023 528 8
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... beings are in essence violent. This thought strikes the vitalising spark in most zombie films. In Danny Boyle and Alex Garland’s film 28 Days Later (2002), Christopher Eccleston’s quietly deranged army officer argues that there’s nothing new about the epidemic of rage that has brought Britain down: it’s ‘just people killing people’. How are ...

Death in Plain Sight

Marina Warner: Emily Davison, Modern Martyr, 4 July 2013

... banners. When he created the spectacular story of the nation for the opening of the Olympic Games, Danny Boyle rightly included a glimpse – it was only a glimpse – of a suffragette march. Davison’s ideas for political actions prefigure Act-Up interventions and demos; she’s a natural precursor of the Occupy movement with its stratagems of ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Susan Boyle, 14 May 2009

... vivid cases, in the hands of amateurs, but amateurs now with access to a universal audience. Susan Boyle, a 48-year-old spinster from West Lothian, appeared a few weeks ago on the TV show Britain’s Got Talent. ‘I’ve always wanted to perform in front of a large audience,’ she said to the presenters. The programme nets an audience of 11.9 million ...

Strange Stardom

David Haglund: James Franco, 17 March 2011

Palo Alto: Stories 
by James Franco.
Faber, 197 pp., £12.99, January 2011, 978 0 571 27316 4
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... at the Rhode Island School of Design. And he’s just given one of his best performances in Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, as the real-life hiking enthusiast Aron Ralston, who eight years ago was trapped in a canyon in Utah, eventually cutting his arm off with a dull knife and rappelling, one-armed, down a 20-metre cliff. ...

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