Trainspotting is a 1996 movie which transverses the lives of a group of friends in 1990s’ Scotland.
Set in Edinborough, Renton, played by Ewan McGregor is an early 20s heroin user and he tells the high-paced tale, set to an urban, avante garde soundtrack, which includes punk rocker Iggy Pop, “Atomic’ from Sleeper and atmospheric-mood music from Brian Eno.
It’s a ‘lust for life’ that characterises director Danny Boyle’s urban dark comedy drama, that was shot abruptly within seven weeks, innovating certain techniques that pushed the actors beyond the usual bounds of creative effects to achieve the surreal land and mindscapes of Trainspotting’s distorted, underground world.
It is a stylised, grungy dirty drug culture that the characters are pounding through, contrasting with the rather bland “Choose Life” advertising mantra of the 1990s, which pulsates through the head of Renton as he runs through Edinborough’s poorer streets. The mantra is is returned to at the end of the movie, repeating in his head, beating on new streets, as he contemplates straight or criminal living, linking his character’s journey to the city’s sounds while the soundtrack erupts and a new life is punched on to.
Trainspotting is a very entertaining movie that received critical and popular acclaim, an unique comedy drama by the immensely skilled Boyle in his pre The Full Monty and Slumdog Millionaire days. It is also the movie that springboarded the careers of McGregor (Star Wars), fellow Scottish actor Robert Carlysle (The Full Monty) and British actor Jonny Lee Miller (Elementary) to international audiences.
Like Slumdog and The Full Monty, the soundtrack of Trainspotting is an important element for telling these tales of escape from the confines of unemployment, oppression and poverty to rise to a ‘better life’.
It works, and The Sound of Movies highly recommends this fast-paced 1990s comedy drama, with its epic soundtrack and very memorable characters and scenes.
We hope you enjoyed listening to this episode of the Sound of Movies – Trainspotting. This episode of The Sound of Movies was broadcast from the Gippsland FM studios on Saturday February 20th 2016 at 12pm.
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