The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Director profile: Danny Boyle

From the heroin-ridden estates of Edinburgh (Trainspotting) to the post-apocalyptic flesh-eating streets of London (28 Days Later), Boyle has not shied away from the unconventional…

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From the heroin-ridden estates of Edinburgh (Trainspotting) to the post-apocalyptic flesh-eating streets of London (28 Days Later), Boyle has not shied away from the unconventional sides of the British landscape. Far from carrying characteristics of classical British cinema, his movies have often explored the darker and disturbed subcultures of their environment. His directorial debut for instance, Shallow Grave, focused on a trio of sickly narcissistic flat-mates in Edinburgh who conspire to dispose of their new tenant upon finding a briefcase of cash next to his corpse.

This is not to say Boyle doesn’t create likeable dimensions to his characters. All his movies have comedic undertones that help to keep the heavy subject matter buoyant. Trainspotting on paper is a tragic and torturous film of addiction, depression and sadism; and yet it is brimming with life, with energetic and witty storytelling throughout.

Of course Boyle has also shown us quite strongly his versatility in directing, from subtle, stark cult classics to vibrant, colourful blockbusters. Slumdog Millionaire has been one of the most popular and widely praised films in recent years. It is perhaps this that finally dignified Boyle with the commercial respect needed to undertake the great public honour of directing our Olympic opening ceremony, Isles of Wonder.