Millions + Q&A with Danny Boyle and Peter Bradshaw

Shuffle Festival is a fantastic and a uniquely mesmerising event. Hidden away in the atmospheric grounds of St Clements Hospital (former workhouse, psychiatric hospital, shortlisted location for Boyle-horror 28 days later and local scary/mysterious building), lies a world of cinematic discovery right on Mile End’s doorstep.

This year boasted an array of impressive film screenings, equally impressive speakers -Danny Boyle, Jarvis Cocker, Brian Cox anyone? – and a mixture of interactive and workshop events, all part of an East London Community Land Trust initiative. Shuffle Festival is without a doubt one of most impressive community-led initiatives in London and should be pencilled into every Queen Mary Students diary!

After the disappointing realisation that sci-fi epic Sunshine had sold out (with a Q&A with BOTH Danny Boyle and Professor Brian Cox, it was no surprise) another chance to hear the wisdom of Danny Boyle (AND Guardian Film Guru Peter Bradshaw) in person came with a ticket to his family heart-warmer Millions.

The film itself, despite being a commercial flop (something Boyle admitted humorously after the screening) is an enjoyable watch! I had seen it when I was younger, but as is so often the case, seeing it years later allowed the jokes and artistic touches aimed at the parents to be fully appreciated.

The film was screened in what felt like an infant school assembly hall and only added to the festival’s sense of community and charm. The audience reflected a range of age groups and without repeating previous sentiment, the screening itself really did emanate a sense of uniqueness and warmth.

The Q&A that followed Millions was perhaps one of the most interesting events I have ever experienced. It is one thing overcoming the initial realization that an Oscar-winning director and lead film-critic were chatting away in front of you, but the discussion itself was truly intriguing
and led to the second realization that Shuffle Festival really is based upon
priceless experiences.

In a truly amateur fashion I tried to note the fascinating Q’s and A’s that left the audience in true child-like admiration but my handwriting was unusually illegible (excitement shakes) and my notes were unfortunately minimalist (scribbled words and sentences separated my exclamation marks), so what followed was a sadly disordered amalgamation of the Q&A session covering a variety of topics, none of which do Mr Boyle justice.

Note to self, invest in a Dictaphone. Note to audience, get yourself to the next Shuffle Festival!

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