Friday, February 24, 2017

T2 Trainspotting







Trainspotting is a film by Danny Boyle, and it was based off the novel by Irvine Welsh. It also might be the first "indie" film that I ever looked forward to.

Not that Miramax was ever all that "indie", but whatever, that was the 90s...

Anyway, I came to Reservoir Dogs late, so I wasn't really aware of Pulp Fiction as a Tarantino film for very long before it came out. I hardly noticed it at all. In fact, I remember fast-forwarding through the trailer on a VHS copy of Dazed and Confused. This type of stuff just wasn't really on my radar at the time. I had the same pre-release lack of awareness/indifference for such 90s classics as Slacker, El Mariachi, Clerks, Welcome to the Dollhouse, Kids, Swingers, Dead Man, Hard Eight, Do the Right Thing, blah, blah, blah, on and on. I was a fan of all of them eventually, and I saw them all as soon as I could after hearing about them, and they all went on to help establish some of my earliest thoughts about film, but still... I wasn't hyped up to see any of them. 

But when it came to Trainspotting... that was different. I must have watched that first trailer from the Projection booth at Colony Square (which is now some weird Drafthouse knock-off) a million times. For me, it looked new and different and exciting and weird, and most people seemed really turned off by it. I was hooked. It was a mature film, but a total rebel too. It had things to say, and yet didn't seem to give a fuck either. These were my impressions at the time. I went out and got the book immediately. I even read it, (most of it) and like everyone else, discovered that it made a lot more sense if you read it out loud in a Scottish accent. I was all in. I was ready. I couldn't wait.

And it totally delivered, too. I still love that film.

Trainspotting wasn't just good, it was one of the main films that sent me winging off into other related movies. Trainspotting was kind of the springboard that led me to giving a shit about writers, directors, cinematographers, the whole craft of film-making itself. It was the Star Wars of my Second Great Movie Love Awakening.

Now, here comes the sequel, and with it, a sense of ill-advised foreboding. Some of it is due to the 20 year gap, but a lot of it is due to the fact they seem to be pretty adamant about calling the film...


...which seems like a terrible idea. They have to know about the Arnold Schwarzenegger one, right? They have to. Is that even legal? It can't be legal, at least creatively. You can't just co-opt a famous title like that. Either way, I refuse to call it "T2", because that's dumb. 

I'm just going to keep calling it: Trainspotting 2.

Now, normally, this would be the part in the blog post where I would list the myriad reasons why a sequel for a film like this is a really bad idea, most of which would be due to the 20 year gap since the original. But I've seen the trailer, and I gotta tell you, folks, it's kind of awesome, so... nevermind.

Here's the synopsis: After 20 years abroad, Mark Renton returns to Scotland and reunites with his old friends Sick Boy, Spud, and Begbie.

Nobody puts any effort into synopses anymore, I guess...


Often times when it comes to these decades-delayed sequels, the nostalgia factor and the call-backs and the homages can overwhelm the story, if there's any story to begin with--I'm looking at you, Force Awakens--and while, yes, technically I haven't seen this film yet... it looks like they've managed to achieve a good balance. 

The energy is the same. The look and tone seems similar. It looks wild and fun. But there seems to be a feeling of resignation too, a sadness and a world-weariness, an acceptance of inevitable change and a lament for what could've been. It seems to be interested in exploring the ideas of how you can't really go home again, but you try anyway, and how, even though it's all different, nothing ever really changes there but the seasons. I like the sound of all of that. I also like how the story looks like it's going to pick up where the last one left off. Sins of the past, the cast-off husks of our old lives, going home again, I like how it looks like all of this is wrapped up together. Maybe. Who knows, I haven't seen it yet. We'll have to wait and see.

Trainspotting 2 opens on 3/17/17.

Choosing to watch,
Jon


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