EIFF: Film premiere
Film director Danny Boyle returned to the scene of one his biggest hits and said he’d welcome the opportunity to film again in Edinburgh.
Speaking ahead of the first Scottish screening of Yesterday at the Vue cinema at the top of Leith Walk, he recalled Ewan McGregor running through the streets nearby during filming of Trainspotting.
He said he owed “a great deal” to Edinburgh for helping his career. “There’s not enough films made here,” he said, during a brief appearance on the red carpet. “It’s a very cinematic city and I’m surprised not more films are made here. If there is ever a chance of filming here again I would not hesitate.”
The Lancashire-born director made his mark with the Edinburgh-set Shallow Grave and Trainspotting films in the mid-1990s. He returned in 2017 for the Trainspotting sequel.
The Scottish premiere of the “Beatles” movie Yesterday took place on the second day of the 2019 Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF). The film is a musical comedy from a script by Richard Curtis, the screenwriter behind such hits as Four Weddings And A Funeral and Notting Hill.
Yesterday tells the story of a struggling singer-songwriter who has an accident during a mysterious global blackout and wakes to a world where the Beatles never existed.
Boyle said he was indebted to the surviving Fab Four, not only for letting him use their songs, but for their sense of humour. “They allowed us to use 17 of the most famous songs ever written in a film that is about them never being remembered,” he said.
His latest offering adds to an impressive catalogue that includes Slumdog Millionaire and the opening ceremony at the 2012 London Olympics where he met Curtis and planted the seeds for Yesterday.
Boyle has spoken of the movie being part of a flood of comfort movies around music nostalgia that includes Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, providing reassuring touch points at a time of political and economic uncertainty.
He and Curtis may be on the brink of an exciting and prolific partnership though, like their Lennon and McCartney counterparts they represent something of an odd couple, Boyle’s edgy characterisation of drug underworlds compared to Curtis’s more sugar-coated stories of love and friendship. Boyle has admitted to being a fan of Curtis’s work and said that Notting Hill showed him how to make a romantic comedy.
Boyle recently pulled out of the next James Bond film, citing creative differences with the franchise’s producers and admitting they were not enthusiastic about where the project was going.
Yesterday is on general release from 28 June
The EIFF is screening 121 new features from 42 countries, including 18 feature film world premieres and 78 UK premieres. It runs until 30 June.