I saw Danny Boyle‘s Slumdog Millionaire for the second time last night at Santa Barbara’s Lobero theatre. It didn’t improve or diminish. It’s still a scruffy, extreme-cinema poverty-tour Dickens fable — vigorously well done for what it is. My impression of Mumbai hasn’t changed — i.e., that it’s populated by some of the nastiest and cruelest people on the planet. And I’m still bothered by Dev Patel‘s halting, deer-in-the-headlights response to anything and everything that arouses, challenges or threatens his Jamal character.

Boyle Durling from Hollywood Elsewhere on Vimeo.

Boyle came out afterwards and did a 30-minute chat with SBFF director Roger Durling. As an theatre-of-life observer and raconteur, Boyle is a complete pleasure. He’s one of the most fully alive filmmakers I’ve ever sat with. (We did a 20-minute video interview in Toronto.) I could listen to him for hours. He knows everyone and everything. Durling asked the right kind of questions — i.e., very general — and just stood back and let Doyle go to town.