Trainspotting 15th anniversary

1,000 years from now there will be no guys and no girls, just wankers. Sounds great to me: Mark Renton.


Fifteen years ago, Danny Boyle’s second film was released in the United Kingdom: Trainspotting, based on a novel by the Scottish Irvine Welsh and produced by Andrew Macdonald.

 Spud, Mark Renton and Francis Begbie

The film portrays the life of Mark Renton and his “so called mates” a group of heroin addicts and common criminals.  Renton struggles to keep up with his addiction and further rehabilitation and re-insertion to society in an economically depressed Edinburgh.


Swanney: Would Sir care for a starter of some garlic bread perhaps?


Renton: No, thank you. I will proceed directly to the intravenous injection of hard drugs, please.

 Renton and Diane in bed

Drug-induced euphoria, withdrawal, panic attacks, self-pity, depressed libido, boredom are some of the symptoms and emotions Renton experiences through the story before he commits himself to lead a stable traditional life.

 Spud, Renton, Begbie and Sickboy

Starring Ewan McGregor (‘Star Wars’, ‘Angels & Demons’), Kelly Macdonald (‘No Country for Old Men’, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II’ ), Ewen Bremner (‘Snatch’, ‘Black Hawk Down’), Johnny Lee Miller (‘The Flying Scottsman’) and Robert Carlyle (‘The Beach’, ‘Eragon’), Trainspotting was voted the best Scottish film of all time in a general public poll, according to the BBC.


Of course, Trainspotting was only the beginning for Boyle and the cast.  Most of them got parts in highly successful Hollywood films or even music videos (Robert Carlyle stars Oasis‘ ‘Little by Little’).  Boyle was hugely acclaimed by audiences and critics for his work in ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ (2008) and even got the BAFTA and the Academy Award (among others) for his direction.


A book sequel to the 1996 film already exists, entitled Porno, again written by Irvine Welsh. Rumours of a sequel to the film have been rife since the book’s publication in 2002, however, at this point there are not official reports about its production.


On a personal note I must say Trainspotting is one of the best films I’ve ever seen, probably among my top 5 of all time.  I reckon it’s quite different from the actual novel but it tells you a great story anyway.  Who hasn’t felt like Mike Renton at least once? I bet most of you have… even if you’re not a heroin addict, when you wake up after a couple of days of heavy drinking and/or abuse of other recreational drugs and you feel like shite, physically and emotionally, but deep inside you know the worst part is coming. 


Or maybe you’re not a drinker and you’ve never shared a joint with your mates, but almost certainly you’ve had a friend or acquaintance like Francis Begbie, right? Remember: Begbie didn’t do drugs either. He just did people.

 Robert Carlyle/Francis Begbie

Plot apart, the film has many other aspects to admire, music for instance: the soundtrack features Underworld, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, New Order… should I go on?  The photography and the filming are really interesting; some of the scenes were done in one take, in order to give the film a scruffy look.


Anyhow, happy 15th b-day Trainspotting! Let’ just hope future generations will appreciate this film as one of the 90’s masterpieces of non-Hollywood movie industry.


Now I’m cleaning up and I’m moving on, going straight and choosing life. I’m looking forward to it already. I’m gonna be just like you. The job, the family, the fucking big television. The washing machine, the car, the compact disc and electric tin opener, good health, low cholesterol, dental insurance, mortgage, starter home, leisure wear, luggage, three piece suite, DIY, game shows, junk food, children, walks in the park, nine to five, good at golf, washing the car, choice of sweaters, family Christmas, indexed pension, tax exemption, clearing gutters, getting by, looking ahead, the day you die: Mark Renton.


February 23rd, 2011.





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