With his new film Yes­ter­day, Danny Boyle un­der­lines the im­por­tance of keep­ing it light in dark times

India Today - - CONTENTS - —with Shree­vatsa Ne­va­tia

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 [62] 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.

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