As i mentioned the other day, I managed to blag myself for a private screening of Danny Boyle’s new film Slumdog Millionaire. The director Danny Boyle was there to introduce the film himself and was every bit as enthusiastic, genuine and charming as he’d come across as in previous interviews I’d heard with him. He also said that this was also only the second ever screening of the film, so we all felt pretty priveleged to see it ahead of it’s January release.
It’s set in Mumbai, India. And it shows it as an incredibly vibrant, chaotic, beautiful city full of wealth and devastating poverty. It’s a fantastic film and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It certainly makes up for the last third of Danny’s last film Sunshine, which had started out so well…
It was quite surreal to be driving home later that evening and hear about the terrorist attacks on the city that I felt like I’d come to know over the previous two hours. It was really sad to think of all the bloodshed, and my thoughts immediately turned to the author of a blog I’ve been following recently, who is discovering the music industry in India. Fortunately she appears to be safe and, I think, back in the UK.
In other movie news, the next night I went back to the Soundtrack Film Festival to see Hunger, a film about the hunger strikes by Bobby Sands and other IRA prisoners in the eighties. It’s an incredibly powerful film and certainly one of the best I’ve seen this year. It’s gruesome, shocking and very stark. There’s almost no dialog for the first third, and then there’s this intense scene that is almost entirely made up of one shot of Sands talking to a priest. It goes on for about 20 minutes (I think) and is utterly transfixing. And then it falls into near dialog-free imagery until the end. It’s not easy viewing, but essential.
The film was followed by a Q+A with Northern Irish DJ/producer/composer, David Holmes. His soundtrack for Hunger is incredibly minimal. Almost non-existent. He said that he was keen to avoid the obvious pipes and drums cliches, and as such moved towards very simplistic droning and monotone piano pieces. Of which there are actually only three in the entire movie. However, the lack of emotive music seems only to lend it more authority and power somehow.
In other news, it’s intriguing to see that Twitter may be acquired by Facebook. I wonder if they’ll be able to integrate it in to their platform and turn it into a money making machine.