Boyle on ‘127 Hours’: “We want it to be a challenge to you.”

Posted by · 6:50 am · August 16th, 2010

As much as I’ve remained interested in Danny Boyle’s work through thick and thin, I’m struggling to pinpoint why I’m not more excited about his well-buzzed “127 Hours.”

The story of Aron Ralston — better known to some as “that mountain climber dude who cut off his arm” — is a remarkable one, and yet I question how many potential avenues of discovery it presents on a big screen. Boyle will need to be at his least fussy, and James Franco galvanizing, to make the film more than a gruelling technical exercise.

The trailer premiered this weekend at London’s Movie-Con, so it will surely surface online soon enough. Empire has posted an extract from Boyle’s onstage interview accompanying the trailer — from which it seems that the film’s makers and handlers are well aware of the marketing challenges posed by a film that centers on a single immobile character over the titular period of time.

Boyle, clearly enthused about the technical resourcefulness necessitated by this seemingly uncinematic narrative (not that the puppyish director ever doesn’t sound enthused about anything), says, “We want it to be a challenge to you guys … to see whether you can sit and watch it.” This is unlikely to be music to the ears of the marketing team, who have reportedly sidestepped that problem by cutting a trailer that lingers on Ralston’s active, partying lifestyle prior to his mountaineering mishap.

Check out more of Boyle’s Movie-Con chat at the Empire site here.

[Photo: Entertainment Weekly]

→ 26 Comments Tags: , | Filed in: Daily

26 responses so far

  • 1 8-16-2010 at 6:53 am

    James D. said...

    I get the feeling it is going to end up as a poor man’s Gerry. I hope I am wrong, though.

  • 2 8-16-2010 at 6:55 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Or a richer man’s “Gerry,” so to speak. But yeah, that’s kind of where I am right now.

  • 3 8-16-2010 at 7:23 am

    Zack said...

    I feel like the sentiment “It worked for ‘Cast Away'” probably came up at some point during the pitch.

  • 4 8-16-2010 at 7:31 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Kind of a different set of limitations. Hanks could move.

  • 5 8-16-2010 at 7:48 am

    MovieMan said...

    Danny Boyle is no Robert Zemeckis. So…I’m cautiously optimistic.

  • 6 8-16-2010 at 8:03 am

    Matthew Starr said...

    NYFF lineup is out. As eccentric as ever but mainly just Cannes redux + Eastwood.

  • 7 8-16-2010 at 8:40 am

    Joe said...

    Hey, this is the guy who turned child abuse and torture into the feel-good movie of the year.

  • 8 8-16-2010 at 8:57 am

    James D. said...

    For some reason I thought you loved Gerry, Guy. It makes me sad otherwise.

    If Garland had written this one, I would be much more excited.

  • 9 8-16-2010 at 8:59 am

    Monica said...

    Hmm… I don’t know.

  • 10 8-16-2010 at 9:42 am

    Mike_M said...

    NYFF has a better lineup than last year’s, but I am so pumped for Social Network, I could be biased…

  • 11 8-16-2010 at 9:48 am

    Charlie said...

    @Matthew Starr- thanks.

    For the rest of the kind folk, here’s the list- straight from the horse’s mouth-

    Opening Night
    THE SOCIAL NETWORK, David Fincher, 2010, USA, 120 min

    THE TEMPEST, Julie Taymor, 2010, USA, 110 min

    Closing Night
    HEREAFTER, Clint Eastwood, 2010, USA, 126 min

    ANOTHER YEAR, Mike Leigh, 2010, UK, 129 min

    AURORA, Cristi Puiu, 2010, Romania, 181 min

    BLACK VENUS, (Venus noire), Abdellatif Kechiche, France, 166 min

    CARLOS, Olivier Assayas, 2010, France, 319 min

    CERTIFIED COPY (Copie conformé), Abbas Kiarostami, 2010, France/Italy, 106 min

    FILM SOCIALISME, Jean-Luc Godard, 2010, Switzerland, 101 min

    INSIDE JOB, Charles Ferguson, 2010, USA, 120 min

    LE QUATTRO VOLTE, Michelangelo Frammartino, 2010, Italy, 88 min

    LENNON NYC, Michael Epstein, 2010, USA, 115 min

    MEEK’S CUTOFF, Kelly Reichardt, 2010, USA, 104 min

    MY JOY (Schastye moe), Sergei Loznitsa, 2010, Ukraine/Germany, 127 min

    MYSTERIES OF LISBON (Misterios de Lisboa), Raul Ruiz, Portugal/France, 272 min

    OF GODS AND MEN (Des homes et des dieux), Xavier Beauvois, 2010,
    France, 120 min

    OKI’S MOVIE (Ok hui ui yeonghwa), Hong Sang-soo, 2010, South Korea, 80 min

    OLD CATS (Gatos viejos), Sebastian Silva, 2010, Chile, 88 min

    POETRY (Shi), Lee Chang-dong, 2010, South Korea, 139 min

    POST MORTEM, Pablo Larrain, 2010, Chile/Mexico/Germany, 98 min

    REVOLUCION, Mariana Chenillo, Fernando Embecke, Amat Escalante, Gael Garcia
    Bernal, Rodrigo Garcia, Diego Luna, Gerardo Naranjo, Rodrigo Plá, Carlos Reygadas,
    Patricia Riggen, 2010, Mexico, 110 min

    THE ROBBER (Der Räuber), Benjamin Heisenberg, Austria/Germany, 90 min

    ROBINSON IN RUINS, Patrick Keiller, 2010, UK, 101 min

    SILENT SOULS (Ovsyanki), Alexei Fedorchenko, Russia, 75 min

    THE STRANGE CASE OF ANGELICA (O estranho caso de Angélica), Manoel de Oliveira,
    Portugal, 97 min

    TUESDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS (Marti, dupa craciun), Radu Muntean,
    Romania, 99 min

    UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL PAST LIVES (Lung Boonmee raluek chat),
    Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010, UK/Thailand, 113 min

    WE ARE WHAT WE ARE (Somos lo que hay), Jorge Michel Grau, Mexico, 90 min

  • 12 8-16-2010 at 9:55 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    James D: I do like “Gerry.” I meant “richer man” as a reference to commercial prospects. Weak joke.

    Matthew: Isn’t “Cannes+Eastwood” the usual formula for NYFF?

  • 13 8-16-2010 at 10:43 am

    The Other James D. said...

    I actually had no knowledge of the self-amputation, but better to have known now then be more furious reading a review of it the day before I see it. =)

    I like that it isn’t galvanizing expectations–it has less to live up to that way, other than sheer promise.

  • 14 8-16-2010 at 10:47 am

    Matthew Starr said...

    It is but I was hoping with a new selection committee that it might be a little different this time around.

    I find it amusing that the most prominent film festival in the United States never has any films from the United States!!!

    Having said that I want to see…

    Social Network
    Another Year
    Meeks Cutoff
    Inside Job

    and maybe Certified Copy and Uncle Boonmee.

  • 15 8-16-2010 at 10:48 am

    McAllister said...

    I imagine it will have lots of backstory and flashbacks…?

  • 16 8-16-2010 at 10:50 am

    Jacob S. said...

    You’re not alone, Guy. I’m also not caring about this movie very much. In fact, there are three other movies coming out on the same weekend that I’d rather see: Megamind, Due Date, and Fair Game.

  • 17 8-16-2010 at 11:16 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    The Other James D: Apologies. I thought the story was pretty common knowledge, having made headlines only seven years ago. But then I’m old.

  • 18 8-16-2010 at 11:46 am

    AmericanRequiem said...

    lisbeth salander has been cast..
    we shall see…

  • 19 8-16-2010 at 11:57 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    This movie sounds interesting and Boyle has only ever made one awful movie (Slumdog) so I’m in.

  • 20 8-16-2010 at 12:13 pm

    Andrew M said...

    I wouldn’t say Slumdog is awful, but it isn’t his or 2008’s best.

  • 21 8-16-2010 at 12:45 pm

    BurmaShave said...

    The story is common knowledge. There would be no reason for this movie to be made if it weren’t. Don’t apologize.

  • 22 8-16-2010 at 1:31 pm

    Bradley Porter said...

    The trailer they showed at Movie Con was awful… Cheap looking, ADD Cut, and a ridiculous scream to the heavens from Franco at the end when he got trapped. Kate Mara looked good, and so did Franco (screan excluded) but I worry the film is going to be another Castaway.

    The trailer editor should be fired.

  • 23 8-16-2010 at 1:57 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Cast Away is great

  • 24 8-16-2010 at 3:29 pm

    McAllister said...

    Not a fan of “Cast Away,” but I don’t blame those who made it.

  • 25 8-16-2010 at 5:52 pm

    Danny King said...

    I’m a big “Cast Away” fan, but I think there is validity to Guy’s assertion that the circumstances aren’t exactly identical. Nevertheless, considering those involved, my expectations of “127 Hours” aren’t lowered because of the character’s immobility.

  • 26 8-16-2010 at 7:01 pm

    Kyle said...

    Agreed on the Alex Garland thought…Boyle needs to dump Simon Beaufoy and get back to his genre work.