Guests at 497 Greenwich Street included Patrick Stewart, who remarked, “I’m still coming down from it, it intrigued and disturbed me so much. I still have a feeling the movie is going on and we’re in it now.”
“I want to let this one sink in a bit,” agreed Kathleen Turner. Regarding the intensity of the pic’s sexuality and violence, she smiled. “I liked the sexuality of it and I’m not ever not shocked by violence.”
Since she plays a hypnotist in the Fox Searchlight pic, Rosario Dawson was naturally a bit more blase. “I don’t think it’s surprising. This is from the guy who had a baby crawling on the ceiling,” she said of a memorable image from Boyle’s “Trainspotting.”
The movie may be mind-blowing but, “It’s definitely understandable. It’s not trying to be so clever that you can’t get it,” said Dawson.
Boyle believes that the often-shocking sex and violence is essential. “Obviously the idea of the movie is you’re in somebody’s head, so you want it to be as visceral an experience as possible so you feel it,” said the helmer. “The truth is it was fun for us because when we filmed we were in the middle of preparing the Olympics, which is quite family friendly and all that kind of stuff. So it allowed us to do the pleasure of something that is adult filmmaking: messing with people’s head, sexuality, violence. It’s the pleasure of extreme cinema, to be honest.
“We try to make films for a limited budget, so when you employ actors to be in it, you’re kind of evangelical and want them to go on a journey with you and make something that might be mainstream but is unusual and a bit twisted. That’s the pleasure, always doing that. You could do a big movie if you wanted to,” Boyle added, “but that’s never been the intention, really. It’s always been to make a ‘big movie’ with something smaller.”