‘Trance’: Danny Boyle embraces dark side with heist thriller

April 04, 2013 | 11:48 a.m.

Anybody familiar with Danny Boyle’s movies (“Trainspotting,” “Shallow Grave,” “28 Days Later,” “Slumdog Millionaire”) knows he is fond of disturbing images, and he doesn’t alter the course with his new art heist thriller “Trance.”

The British filmmaker, speaking  Saturday at an early screening of “Trance” hosted by Hero Complex at WonderCon in Anaheim, said he was drawn to “Trance’s” darker side largely as an antidote to his directing the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Boyle shot “Trance” while he simultaneously  preparing the games, then finished work on the film after staging the ceremonies.

“It was wonderful to do something so different to that big celebratory, endlessly positive, family-friendly” event, Boyle said of shifting from the games to “Trance.” “To go to the dark side on the other days was really, really wonderful.”

Filmmaker Danny Boyle on the set of "Trance." (Susie Allnutt/Fox Searchlight)

Filmmaker Danny Boyle on the set of “Trance.” (Susie Allnutt/Fox Searchlight)

The film stars James McAvoy as a criminal who after suffering a brain injury can’t recall where he hid a stolen painting. His gang of thieves (headed by Vincent Cassel) hires a hypnotist (Rosario Dawson) to try to jog his memory, but the therapy turns up some unexpected secrets.

“Trance” wasn’t Boyle’s only creative hiatus from the Olympics, where he said for the first two years of work “You’re not really making anything … you don’t actually do anything” besides have a lot of meetings.

In the first year of planning the ceremonies, Boyle directed “Frankenstein” on stage in London. “That’s also dark, evil and twisted,” Boyle said.

To hear more of what Boyle had to say, watch the clip above and check out earlier segments from the interview here and here.

– John Horn

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex

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