Trainspotters of the world unite
The dream team behind Shallow Grave is about to make us a nation of Trainspotters, as Irvine Welsh’s story of Leith junkies explodes onto the big screen. Kicking off a six-page guide to Trainspotting, Fiona Shepherd speaks to the film’s stars Ewan McGregor and Ewen Bremner. '
o paraphrase a famous saying. there‘s nothing like a film whose time has come. Even though Trainspotting‘s time is. chronologically speaking. the l98()s. the intoxicating film version of Irvine Welsh‘s modern classic which chronicles the aimless existence of a shower of Leith junkies. has more resonance in the hip. self-aware 90s than stylised ‘youth‘ ﬁlms like Shopping. Of course. it helps when you‘ve got the sharpest source material you could ask for.
8 The List 9-22 Feb I996
Sometimes you don‘t know you're missing something until you get it. Sounds like the kind of pseudo-philosophy 'li'uins/mning‘s pivotal character Mark Renton would spout about heroin. but it can just as readily be applied to the 'li'rti/is/mning phenomenon — novel. play and now. most explosively. film. When something is
‘There’s a side of Benton that really appreciates the qualities of Spud - his peacefulness and his innocence -
and there’s a part of Spud that
really appreciates Renton’s vigour and bravery.’
described as ‘feverishly anticipated‘ it's usually the well-oiled PR machine doing a sterling job. When all your peers want to know the release date and are marking their diaries — t/zutis feveristh anticipated.
'Ii'ains/mtling is a film that speaks our language. while taking us on the cinematic journey out of our lives and inexorably into
someone clse's. The Slut/[me Grave triumvirate of director Danny Boyle. producer Andrew McDonald and writer John llodge has pulled it off. though it‘s mainly thanks in the first place to Welsh (who takes a cameo role as an unscrupulous drug dealer) for articulating so accurately a scene where most people are too busy partying to pontificate.
"l‘he novel was all very familiar. the background and the characters.‘ 'says Ewen Bremner (Spud in the film and Renton in the first theatre production). ‘That's why it's made such a big impression in Scotland. I was excited by it and scared of it because it's such dangerous material. lle [Welsh] sets tip really exciting situations. the possibilities for what can happen in a scene are so outrageous but at the same time it‘s really close to home.‘
The recognition factor is there. in the film’s humour. locations and some of the circumstances. It is also pumped full of vibrant colour. outlandish perspective and ambience- enhancing music to create 90 rocket-fuelled minutes of what has been called ‘social surrealism‘. such as the elegiac overdose scene