Excerpt from an Interview with Danny Boyle & Christian Colson
Director and Producer, “127 Hours”
October 20, 2010
: When you talked about the
challenge of directing “Slumdog Millionaire,” I remember that you told
us how difficult it was to film on location in Mumbai, because of the
incredible continual noise of that city, and that you were forced to film in
the middle of the night because of it.
What were your unique challenges in filming “127 Hours”?
First, the remoteness of that location.
It was almost impossible to get there.
We had to transport all the equipment by helicopter.
And still, this city boy had to do some climbing and trekking!
I even tried rappelling, which is an act of faith in itself.
And it was so incredibly quiet there.
Not even any crickets chirping or birds squawking, and most of the
time no wind, either. So
unbelievably still. And then
there was the tightness of that space inside the crevasse where he was
trapped. We wound up having to
do creative things with portable cameras on flexible arms in order to get
the angle of shots we wanted.
: They say there are no
atheists in foxholes, but I noticed that the trapped man did everything but
Actually, in the book, he does try a prayer, but he’s an engineer,
a pragmatic man, and not a spiritual man at all.
So when the prayer didn’t work, he just gave up trying that, like
he did the other things that didn’t work.
And I tried shooting that little prayer in the film, but the scene
just didn’t work, so I cut it.
I often look for scriptural attestations, because I write for a
religious readership, but this film evoked a bible verse I have never used
before: “And if your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut if off
and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than
with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire.”
I didn’t know that was in the Bible!
What’s the chapter and verse again?
But I want people to know that this movie is about so much more than
a guy cutting off his hand. It’s
really very spiritual, because the whole experience moves him from an
isolated, self-reliant, essentially selfish man, to one who sought out human
Yes, exactly, and love. In
his delirium he has this vision of a wife and child, a little boy, and when
he does manage to survive this ordeal, he actually goes out and seeks the
kind of interdependent relationship that he had avoided before.
: Did he date one of the women
he met that day, just before he fell in the cave?
Yes, as a matter of fact, he did, but that’s not the relationship
that developed into his marriage. Though
that would have made a nice postlogue during the credits!
But he did have the son he had seen in his delirium vision, which is
extraordinary in itself.
: I’m beginning to get the
connection between this movie and “Slumdog Millionaire.”
It’s about the character development, isn’t it?
Not so much what happens to a person, but how he responds to what
happens to him?
Yes, that’s what really interests me, and, I think, makes this
story have a much broader appeal than it first appears to have.
: Kind of like “Slumdog
We can only hope!
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, Grace
, for the Presbyterian Outlook