Friday, 31 March 2017

The 9th Hall Of Fame Inductee Representing Comedic Film - Trainspotting (1996) - Danny Boyle

In 1993, writer Irvine Welsh shook the literary world to it’s core with his debut novel Trainspotting, a frank depiction of a group of individuals in Leith, Edinburgh who are engaged in recreational drug activity (most specifically heroin) and addictive behaviour. It was on the longlist for the 1993 Booker Prize, but was purportedly rejected from the shortlist for “offending the sensibilities of two judges.” In 1996, following on from their previous film Shallow Grave, a low-budget sleeper hit, director Danny Boyle, producer Andrew Macdonald and writer John Hodge took to adapting Welsh’s book in a fashion true to the spirit of the original source material. Delivering an incredible breakout performance, Shallow Grave’s Ewan McGregor is cast in the lead role of Mark Renton, and a perfect line up is assembled to round out the rest of the gang. Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Macdonald, Peter Mullan and Welsh himself all play their parts superbly. For all of the squalor and legitimately provocative things it has say about drug addiction, urban poverty and the existential crisis’ in the psyche of the disaffected youth in this particular period of time, the film is incredibly entertaining. At around the ninety minute mark, this is an endlessly re-watchable picture that despite containing some horrific moments, is also outrageously funny and contains an extraordinary degree of dexterity. When it was released, it was a runaway success, the equivalent of a Molotov cocktail to the establishment, both in terms of the film industry and society as a whole. All done to a rousing soundtrack, this was an energetic, heart-pumping pop culture phenomenon the likes of which had never been seen before and perhaps will never be seen again. It captures a particular and unique moment in our history, our zeitgeist, and the universal connection that many of us have to this film is a testament to its lasting strength and power.

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