Scottish outcasts indulge in self-destruction in 1990s’ Edinburgh. An adaptation of the cult novel by Irvine Welsh.
Independent filmmaker Danny Boyle’s hit tracing the misadventures of four young Scots, whose drug addiction threatens their friendship, was named the 10th best twentieth-century British film by the BFI, with Boyle’s longtime co-writer John Hodge grabbing a BAFTA and an Oscar nomination for the adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel.
Boyle and Hodge’s second collaboration transposes the formula of their debut piece, Shallow Grave (1994), an art-house black comedy about unprincipled but charismatic young people, to the level of a generational portrait. While depicting the financial crisis after Thatcher’s premiership and critiquing the accompanying philosophy of wild success, Trainspotting also destigmatizes the subject of drugs with immense courage for its time. Its nihilistic spirit had a powerful resonance across the globe, with box office gross surpassing production costs by more than thirty times and the film itself becoming part of Britain’s international cultural expansion.
Another reason behind Trainspotting’s relentless popularity is the soundtrack, offering a good balance of guitar music, especially Britpop that rocked the charts back then, and electronics, including the iconic Underworld track “Born Slippy (Nuxx).” Starring Ewan McGregor (Fargo), Johnny Lee Miller (Elementary), Ewen Bremner (Julien Donkey-Boy), and Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty), who would become Britain’s acting elite, the film has been broken down into quotes and launched a series, spawning the 2017 sequel, T2 Trainspotting.
The film will be screened in English with Russian subtitles.
Dir. Danny Boyle
UK, 1995. 93 min. 18+