Danny Boyle: I owe a great deal to Edinburgh
Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle has said he owes “a great deal” to Edinburgh as he brought his latest picture to the city’s annual celebration of film.
The Scottish premiere of his new Beatles movie, Yesterday, took place on the second day of the 2019 Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF).
It marked a return to the capital for the Lancashire-born director who made a name for himself early on in his career with the Edinburgh-set Shallow Grave and Trainspotting films in the mid-1990s.
He returned to the city to make the 2017 sequel T2 Trainspotting.
Boyle said he is surprised that more films are not shot in the area.
Speaking on the red carpet at the Vue Omni cinema, he told Press Association Scotland: “It’s lovely to be back in Edinburgh, a very great city to be back in.
“I owe a great deal to this city in so many ways.
“There’s a great joke at the end of this film that will be particularly appreciated by people from Edinburgh. We sort of did it for Edinburgh, really.
“In the beginning of my career I made two films here, well certainly between here and Glasgow, but they were both set here – Shallow Grave and Trainspotting – and then we returned to make another Trainspotting film.
“It’s an amazing city and still there’s not enough films made here. It’s a very cinematic city and I’m surprised not more films are made here. I think you’ll find that will be the case soon.”
Boyle’s new 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 sees Himesh Patel star as a struggling singer-songwriter who has an accident during a mysterious global blackout and wakes to a world where the Beatles never existed.
“We end up featuring 17 of the (Beatles’) songs in the film,” Boyle said.
“It’s a love story as well, not just to the music of the Beatles, but between him and his best friend Ellie, played by Lily James.
“It’s a beautiful mixture of those two love letters, one to the Beatles and one to his childhood sweetheart, really.
“Richard Curtis is a massive Beatles fan. I’m a big admirer of them but I’m not a fanatic, I don’t know absolutely everything about them.
“I felt just a wonderful pleasure at having a soundtrack dictated for you before you began the film.
“It wasn’t particular songs, you could use any of the songs up to the limit of 18. Just having that body of work as something you were going to build a film around was very exciting.”
The EIFF got under way on Wednesday evening with the opening gala screening of the Highlands-set Boyz In The Wood.
In total, this year’s festival is screening 121 new features from 42 countries, including 18 feature film world premieres and 78 UK premieres.