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Give Me Sunshine

Tuesday 17 December 2013, 17:46

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

I did an on stage interview at the recent Shuffle Festival about the film Sunshine with Director Danny Boyle and Professor Brian Cox . Here is an exclusive behind the scenes chat I had with the two of them.

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Film Club - Sunshine

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    Comment number 1.

    It was great to ask Danny a question on Sunday night, (I asked him if he thought there were a future for non-digital, non-3D even maybe non-colour or silent Cerebral Sci-Fi).

    Danny's answer was a very firm 'its already all over for those platforms'.

    I love Danny's work and hearing him sing along to Mark's band The Dodge Brothers (after showing Sunshine and the Q&A) was funny and sweet. However, it was very sad to hear what he said about these wonderful mediums.

    I'm now determined, to at some point in my life, to make a B&W, Silent, 35mm Cerebral Sci-Fi and get Danny to present it at The Shuffle Festival!!!

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    Comment number 2.

    Have to say that I think Gravity is probably a fairly good example of science/art cross over Danny mentions. Despite some for the stuff in the press about it not being 100% scientificly accurate. The film builds from a plausible senario into a solid story whilst staying within parameters of factual reality pretty well. Science is art but we don't often see it presented as such. Contagion springs to mind as another. I'm sure there are more. Grudging but honourable mention must also go to James Cameron who's deep see exploration do something for the advancement of science and will surely be cited as inspiration for upcoming Avitar sequels.

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    Comment number 3.

    Danny Boyle is cool. His enthusiasm is infectious. I watched the documentary Side By Side recently, and the interview he gives, before it's edited down, shows you could listen to him talk for hours. It's good to have an intelligent mainstream director, that doesn't come across as aloof or pompous.

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    Comment number 4.

    And on that matter, what of Alien Love Triangle?

    Please?

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    Comment number 5.

    Sorry, I'm not feelin' the love for Sunshine. Has a lot of things going for it, Boyle, cast, looks beautiful, but let down by increasingly ludicrous script that goes all Event Horizon at the end (and that only just about worked in Event Horizon). Even if you like Sunshine, better than Shallow Grave, Trainspotting or Slumdog? Erm....

    Still, Boyle's tops, and I'd be pleased if my successes were half as good as his failures. Good to hear the Shuffle venue has gotten planning permission, hope they can scare up the funding.

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    Comment number 6.

    Sunshine is great sic-fi (remember sci-fi does not mean sci-fact!). However, given the importance of the mission, it was probably the most difunctional crew to send....

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    Comment number 7.

    Sunshine is the only Danny Boyle film I've seen, so it's my favourite! I love the idea of a festival celebrating the connection between science and art.

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    Comment number 8.

    All round good guys - and Sunshine is a good film - not fantastic but definitely good.

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    Comment number 9.

    Sunshine is one of the forgotten gems of Sci-Fi. Part of it is the pace that Boyle sets for the film; rather than showing a slow boring pace of life on board, he quickly put his pieces in to play.

    The madness that's taking over one character, Searle, is the same madness which Pinbacker suffered from on the first Icarus ship. Showing what's happened to Icarus 2 reveals what happened on the first. I think many viewers didn't quite get that bit!

    Like many Boyle films it ramps up tension until the end, steadily and forthrightly. Right to an explosion of action on screen. Few directors can compete with Boyle on this respect.

    Yet, Boyle is far from perfect; He stupidly turned down a Knighthood. For what he has done for cinema in the UK he deserved one, never mind an Olympic opening ceremony which if you're not convinced on it's brilliance then for comparison look at the closing ceremony!

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    Comment number 10.

    Kaneda what do you see?...

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    Comment number 11.

    I totally agree with Brian-New Forest on Sunshine, I thought it was alright and that's it. As for a masterpiece, I think some people are getting totally carried away here. Mark has his favourites we all know that, if Hertzog f@rted in a empty room Mark would think it was a masterpiece. Don't get me wrong I love Danny Boyle and his work and when he refused a knighthood and said it just isn't me, well, he has my total respect.

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    Comment number 12.

    This is off topic but I've looked everywhere for your review of Only God Forgives & cannot find it anywhere - Would like very much to hear your opinion of this years most divisive film -

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    Comment number 13.

    To think Sunshine is his best film pretty much puts you in a minority of one.Which in my book normally means your just wrong. Its beautifully directed but that never makes up for a weakness of script, Trainspotting knocks it out cold, for precisely that reason; as does the joy that is Dark Star which it copies in many ways.

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    Comment number 14.

    @12 persona-- wouldnt we all like to know !!!! mmmmmm

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    Comment number 15.

    As someone who is a bachelor of both the arts and science I think that the Shuffle Festival sounds brilliant. We could do with some more Enlightenment in this day and age.

    I wouldn’t agree that Sunshine is Danny Boyle’s best movie though; Slumdog, Trainspotting and Shallow Grave are all more complete dramas in my opinion. However, it’s also not his worst either. At least Sunshine poses some interesting questions about what it is to be human: how far can rational thought be taken before emotions interfere?; where does the balance lie between the individual’s needs and the common cause?; is talking to God a sign of madness? It’s also interesting for a work of cinema to be about the importance of light to life.

    In Sunshine’s defence, I would suggest that it is far more interesting than Gravity, which seems to me to be very basic indeed. Gravity only left me thinking two things. Firstly, it’s a very shiny, shiny thing; and secondly, when will Sandra Bullock stop with all that heavy breathing? I noticed that she’s been nominated for a Golden Globe, which I can only assume is a mistake – unless there is a category for PANTomime. Bring on the Kermodes!

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    Comment number 16.

    Being an admirer of Danny Boyle,in so much not just based on his gifted ability to direct,produce and write consistently diverse and entertaining movies.
    For me,his greatest quality is,his undeniable affinity from where he began his journey,his birthplace Radcliffe,and the people who shaped and educated him,family and close friends.
    This was reciprocated by the man himself,were upon post richly deserved winner of the Academy Award for "Slumdog"one if not the first place he returned too,on arriving back in the U.K. was to call in on his old stomping ground,the Radcliffe Working Man's Club,no doubt proud as punch,but there to thank his kinda folk,for making him the person he is as he modestly exhibited his trophy and placed it on the table amongst the domino competitions and empty pint glasses.
    My only gripe is apart from The Beach,which was in all fairness,shapeless and a bit of a stray,no,not even The All Saints with a hypnotic and rhythmic signature melody could not make amends for a poor narrative,stylish to look at,but certainly no place in paradise.
    My other points concern Sunshine and Trance,i could of enjoyed these so much more,both have similar parallels,both began interestingly enough,storyline unfurls,getting affiliated with the characters,intrigue,director throws a curve ball...and slow implosion appears,it was like i was being told that "Sorry were no longer continuing at cruise speed,it's absolute full throttle from now on"-and that's my issue,two thirds of the way in,both films ran away from it's audience,requiring us to sprint,whilst i was quite happy enjoying the walk.
    There not poor films by a long stretch,i can watch Sunshine without any semblance of discomfort,but i just think they could have been tweaked to greater acclaim.
    ,

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    Comment number 17.

    I see Mark was if full flappy hand mode! Hell, they nearly blew me off my chair!

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    Comment number 18.

    I have an inkling that Sunshine will be the Blade Runner of the 21st century. Misunderstood and a financial failure at the time. Religious symbolism, fantastic acting and masterful production design with a divisive part of the film (Blade Runner's voice over, Sunshine's 3rd act "slasher" sequence) I for one (and know lots of others) that are itching for a cinema re-release. Would love to see it on the big screen. I also had this theory about A.I that is also being re-appraised as a sci-fi classic that was nice to see Dr K thought the same way. A Sunshine re-issue for 2014 please!!

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    Comment number 19.

    @Symanski - How did he stupidly turn down a knighthood? Not everyones that interested in them. Yes, he may deserve one; the point is that they offered him it. He said No.

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    Comment number 20.

    Absolutely this is one of my top 3 Danny Boyle films and my top 10 scifi-genre films. It still looks and sounds amazing for a relatively low budget film, and, like Blade Runner and 2001: A Space Odyessy, it will stand the test of time. A future classic.

 

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Outspoken, opinionated and never lost for words, Mark is the UK's leading film critic.

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