Q&A WITH DANNY BOYLE
With his new film Yesterday, Danny Boyle underlines the importance of keeping it light in dark times
Q. You describe Yesterday as “light” and “entertaining”. Do you think we need such films to survive Trump and Brexit?
I think every era thinks it lives in terrible times and I’m at an age  where I have felt that many times. People are seeking a reference point that helps them feel communal again, so films like Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman and Yesterday all inspire nostalgia and help us long for a time when we agreed on things.
Q. You recently left Bond 25. Do you think James Bond has now lived well past his expiry date?
[Laughs] I wouldn’t have gotten involved in it if I thought that.
Q. Your film, Yesterday, imagines a world without The Beatles, so is it fan fiction or a cheeky comment on our cultural amnesia?
[Laughs] It’s a work of fan fiction, I think. It comes from [writer] Richard Curtis, a Beatles nut who has written many romantic comedies. But I’ll put it this way—it is a light, entertaining film that can help one think about cultural appropriation and cultural amnesia.
Q. You gave India its Oscar moment, but were also criticised for romanticising its poverty. How do you look back at Slumdog Millionaire?
With enormous affection. There was so much I learnt as a director. I look back with pride at the way that we behaved. Not all films behave well towards the country whose resources they use. But I think we left behind some lasting legacy that could, for instance, help a few of the children we worked with.
Q. Which Beatles song or album is your favourite?
I’ll cheat and say that it’s the medley on Abbey Road.