I’ve worked with Danny Boyle twice now and one of the first and most useful things he does when he sets up a production office is set up a knd of Library Corner, full of pictures, books and films that have inspired him. He also invites people from the Art Department, the Camera Department etc. to do the same. The Library Corner for Millions was plastered with El Greco reproductions and the films of Satajit Ray, and the short stories of Frank O’Connor.
I’ve been thinking about what I would put in the Library Corner of Triple Word Score.
First of all would be Life is A Long Slow River and Tatie Danielle by Etienne Chatillez. These are two French films about working people in unglamorous locations (Roubaix, on the Belgium border, North of Lille) but which are bursting with fun, colour and odd moments of beauty and poetry. They’re a World away from the formulaic miserabilism of Mike Leigh and Co.
One of the things I’m hoping to nick from Chatillez is his gift for writing really extreme - appalling - characters who you somehow like to watch. Human monsters like Tatie Danielle are as compelling in their way as real monsters like Godzilla or Kong. But you don’t need a special effects budget to get them onto the screen.
Frank O’Connor - swaggering, hilarious, wise, and fearless - is still on my mental shelves and probably always will be.
Danny Boyle introduced me to this terrific poem by Paul Farley which also makes it to the Mental Shelves:
There’s also this terrific story written (worryingly) by my son Joe about the fallibility of fathers, which is sort of the theme of the film. So this story gets in there next to O’Connor:
Because we want to have fun with Scrabble tiles during the film, we’re also looking at brilliant title sequences, such as those from the Pink Panther films.