Danny Boyle, Director 127 Hours
Danny Boyle, Director talks about 127 Hours

Based on a true story, survival film 127 Hours opens this weekend. Many will be following to see how director Danny Boyle’s follow-up to the Academy Award-winning  Slumdog Millionaire (8 Oscars including best director, best picture) turns out. Stark Insider caught up with the energetic, charming, talkative Brit at the Mill Valley Film Festival as he and James Franco arrived for a screening of the film (video below).

Danny Boyle, Director 127 Hours
Danny Boyle talks about 127 Hours

“When you have a success like that [Slumdog Millionaire], you’ve got an opportunity really,” Boyle told Stark Insider at MVFF. “We thought this was the right time to morally blackmail the studios into financing the film… they agreed!”

About those reports of feinting; mid-way through the film, at least one person was helped out causing a minor stir at the theater in San Rafael. Similar reports have been surfacing as 127 Hours toured the film festival loop before opening on November 5.

Literally caught between a rock and a hard place in Utah, the scene in question involves the extreme measures real-life canyoneer Aron Ralston took to extricate himself. It was a matter of survival. And Boyle and the team ensure that we feel every agonizing moment. Many, including even the most hard-boiled of gore aficionados, were seen grimacing or looking away from the screen. The buzz, no doubt, is pure publicity gold for the producers.

“It’s about a journey back to people. Although it’s about one guy, it’s about everyone as well.”

During a Q&A after the screening, he noted they were trying to make “an action film where the hero never moves.”

James Franco stars in 127 Hours
James Franco stars in 127 Hours

127 Hours oozes, of course, trademark Danny Boyle style. The film opens with heavy rock music, multiple pictures and panels slide across the screen in rapid-fire form, and we are briskly introduced to the rebellious lifestyle of the soon-to-be-trapped adventurer played by James Franco (Spiderman, Milk, Pineapple Express).

Other touches include: beautiful sweeping shots of Utah landscapes, sexy canyon water diving, flash back story-telling, and, even, irony and humor.

On leading man James Franco, the 54-year-old director had nothing but praise.

“We needed an extraordinary actor,” says Boyle. “I thought he was avery good actor, but now I know he’s an extraordinary actor.”

(With Clinton Stark contributing from Marin County).

127 Hours starring James Franco127 Hours

Directed by Danny Boyle
Starring James Franco, Amber Tamblyn and Kate Mara

Opens: Friday, November 5, 2010

A mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive.

Monica Turner
Contributor to Stark Insider for tech, the arts and All Things West Coast for over 10 years.