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Monday, 11 February 2008

Choose life...choose "Trainspotting"

I think you can tell that I've seen "Trainspotting" too many times and read the book until the spine gave way- and *still* refused to replace that battered movie tie-in edition only because it has Ewan Mcgregor on the cover and the uber-cool orange and white lettering done by Stylorouge, famous record album sleeve designers.

Yes, I know it's a movie and book about junkies, addicts, psychoes, HIV and desperate and degraded lives. When first released in 1996, "Trainspotting" suffered from being accused of glamourizing the subject matter that it tried to comment upon. It was charged with starting that late 1990s 'junkie chic' fashion movement, which is a bloody laugh, there always have been drugs in the dressing-room, behind the catwalk and at fashion shoots. ( May I refer you to the life of early 80s' supermodel Gia Carangi...).

If you want a movie about drug addiction to show your Moral Education class, perhaps "Trainspotting" is not appropriate, because it shows that the protagonist, Mark Renton, has managed to break out of his social situation by ripping off his friends. The more suitable movie for an anti-drugs Moral Ed lesson is 'Requiem For A Dream' (Darren Afonosky, 2000).

But great cinema and literature provides its audience with a wealth of memorable quotes for pop culture, and usage of such quotes by audience members. I have found Mark Renton's monologue (reproduced on the theatrical poster) to be invaluable over the years. Especially when busy-body family members ask me:

"Wahh! Still not married, ahhh?"

(Me, in a Scottish accent) : Chooose laiffe....choooose a joab....choose a kaireer...chooose a famleh...choose a fecking biiig telei-vih-shun....

At which point, those enquiring think I'm possessed and never ask me that question again. Woo-hoo!

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