Hello to all, today I have the pleasure to present to you the second article of Squizzz who, after his very good chronicle of Small murder between friends, we made the pleasure of doing the second movie, Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting, which is certainly one, see the most cult of all of his outstanding filmography
Festival de Cannes 1996. After having conquered Great Britain, Danny Boyle, comes to shake up the Croisette in with Out-of-Competition his Trainspotting, directly qualified for clockwork Orange of the 90’s, as for his side provoc’ denounced by the more conservative only by his amazing mastery, hailed by the majority of the public and the critic. Adapted from the novel of the same name by Irvine Welsh, the film follows the story of a young junkie and his band of friends, among défonces and attempt survival in Scotland in the midst of a crisis. Danny Boyle finds for the occasion, his winning trio of Small murders between friends : Ewan McGregor head the cast, John Hodge screenplay, and Andrew Macdonald the production. Attempt of an analysis of one of the greatest british films, annoying certainly, but in the good sense of the term.
A vision clear of the drug
“Trainspotting” : the English term designating an activity which is to list all of the locomotives of a railway company or, by extension, the whole obsession for things that are more or less futile. If we are to believe the film, it would seem that Humans have a predisposition to become addicted to a multitude of things. The sport and his girlfriend are the drugs of Tommy, the alcohol and the violence those of bergie was, the only guys “clean” of the band. You can also turn maniac just because of the cine and tv (“the line” of VHS), or James Bond, not to mention the sex and the love that sprang up in Renton, such a “volcano” as soon as he let go of the cam (see the scene of the out of the box and his performance magnificent of the thunderbolt and desire), unless it is not the money (see article).
No wonder, therefore, that the Man is of such a nature to allow themselves to be carried away by the wave of hard drugs that exceed all other obsessions to the point of relegating them to the ranks of the trivia. It is, therefore, to forget the life and the emptiness of her daily life that Renton is pricked to the hero. It is also through rejection of a society which does not match (see the sequence in the park where Sick Boy ” gun ” company-model). Not to mention that a shoot, it is worth a thousand orgasms “.
It floats as well on the first part of Trainspotting a dash of sweet madness, a slight carelessness, as during the first bites, when the addiction has not yet taken over. Picking seems easy : a little air of “Carmen” and a few rules to follow as in a game, and the turn is played. However, under its air of comedy ” second degree “, it is flat already in this first part the shadow of a danger, Renton ready to fuck in the shit and flirting with death to retrieve two suppos opium (see details on the sequence below).
More hard going to be the relapse, and the movie is going to take a whole different tone. The crime, the traffic, until then, been masked by the film surface. The drug is a disease that spreads, and it is Tommy who makes the expense. The point of no return occurs when the baby, the only link with reality and its responsibilities, which, although almost unreal, remained in the moments of wasted, also disappears. Until then, death had been hidden, we broke out this time in full face, in a sequence in which the atrocity is shown by the most gross. The withdrawal will be more complex also, and this is not a trial and the alternative treatments that are going to be enough. Renton then takes the exit door and the wall to plunge once again (see the sequence that follows that of the court). The time of too, that of overdose.
The withdrawal will be enforced, the house of his childhood acting as a prison and parents of the perpetrators. A sequence that transcribes perfectly the infantilization caused by the heroine, but also the difficulty of the withdrawal, without substitution. Boyle multiplies the tricks to give the impression that his character’s dark in the depths, or, on the contrary, feels totally oppressed : visual techniques (short focal lengths, a dolly including a fake offset, big plans…), decoration (patterns aligned in the wall-paper, walls abnormally long, claustrophobia under the sheets…), electronic music redundant Underworld, hallucinations (apparitions of characters, including a dead baby). These are the reflections of the consequences of the drug on his life. It was also during this sequence that appears on the last risk to which exposes the heroin addiction, AIDS. The disease is first presented by its scientific aspect, too incomprehensible for that you are interested in, resulting in a contamination that is the result of chance (see the comparison with the lottery). Once contaminated, the hiv-positive is completely rejected by the society that shows the finger (see the inscriptions on the apartment of Tommy : “Aids junky scum” or “junk junkie hiv positive” and “Plague” or “dirty” plague “). And recluse and abandoned, Tommy never liked to wait for death. It will be the end of him as a cat and a soccer ball, the last witnesses of the one it was in another life, where he was drugged to the love and sport (see the sublime plan, in a look back at the funeral). In short, for the apology of drugs that some criticize the film, we revert.
Between realism and surrealism
Trainspotting is a bit of the blessed bread for a director such as Danny Boyle, adept a
scene always moving, well-paced and artsy. Thus, as has already been seen with the
sequence of weaning, the film is full of scenes that oscillate between realism and nightmare, such as the vision
deformed shape of the world as heroin.
To illustrate our point, let us look at two sequences cults. The first will be the one in Renton at the end of the trip, finding themselves to be empty in ” the worst toilet of Scotland “, a veritable metaphor of what may be required to undergo someone in need. The surrealism begins with the decor overly murky toilet before falling into the hallucination with the plunge of Renton in the bowl. The sequence then takes another turn, that of a kind of dream, Renton “floating” to the idea of finding her a suppository, even if the presence of the mine maintains the next nightmarish scene.
The second sequence will be the one of the overdose of Renton. It alternates constantly between vision, fantasy and very realistic view. It begins with a game where Renton comes to take his dose in his dealer as if he was going to the restaurant, but this game is already distorted by a number of very large plans are of significance to the injection. Renton then dive to the bottom of the hole (= tomb), and its field of view is found largely amputated. While we understand clearly that it goes wrong for Renton, Boyle continued the little game at the restaurant and sends it to the hosto via a taxi. But then again, an ambulance passes in the field to remember the gravity of the situation. This use of a distorted vision that may at first diminish the dramatic tension of the sequence does in truth increase it. It shows the carelessness of the two characters, and adds an emotional dimension because the more close to the character. This dimension is amplified by the “Perfect Day” by Lou Reed.
Finally, concerning the aesthetics overall of the film, Boyle was inspired by the work of the painter of the cruelty Francis Bacon for his ability to navigate constantly between reality and unreality. One actually finds in the film the influence of certain of his works, notably in the colours used, with either of the tones very gray or, conversely, a saturation of colors. A drawing on the wall in the apartment of the Mother Superior is not without reminding us of some paintings of Bacon.
“Bag of Money Trilogy “
If Trainspotting has won a large success in Great Britain (and the rest of the world), it is because it goes beyond the simple theme of the drug. The film describes a generation lost in a society that doesn’t fit him, and which especially can not offer him much because of the economic recession. Thus, the second part of the “Bag of Money Trilogy” of Boyle (focused on the evils of money) takes on a dimension instead of social. One of the reasons (but not the only one by far) of the diving in the addiction of the band of Renton is the lack of the prospect of a future tied to the economic downturn. But, paradoxically, the addiction to hard drugs eventually cost them very dear and delinquency.
Well, ironically enough, once out of the drug, Renton finds himself working in the real estate and to take the game to the music, ” profits, losses, margins, loans, etc.”. The virus of the money wins little by little the band members who eventually move to the side of the dealers history to make a good loot. And as in the first part of the trilogy, Small murders between friends, the money ends up with the top on the friendship. It is only armed with a good bet that Renton finally make the decision to go completely. The loop is closed.
The clockwork Orange of the 90’s
This qualifier of ” loop-chained “, are often picked up by critics, is not trivial and is fully assumed by Boyle via the homage that it makes the masterpiece a clockwork Orange, Kubrick, when the sequence of the disco. A dolly (back in the original), through two rows of tables, slowly gets nearer to Tommy and Spud, while one can distinguish above them, “Joloko” font identical to the “Moloko” original. In addition to the aspect provoc’ common to both films, they come together primarily through their main characters and their trajectories. Boyle cites himself as a reference to the character of Renton Alex of a clockwork Orange, and his legendary ambiguity, repulsing and attracting at the same time. The two characters are both on the margins of society, drug addicts (heroin or violence) and then forced to heal himself (by his parents to Renton, by the State for Alex). The only difference occurs at the end, Alex eventually return to its true nature, Renton ranking permanently. Blur end showing a complete loss of his or her personality… or, on the contrary, an uncertain future and a possible slip. Finally, the doubt remains alive and well.
In the staging, also, the two films can be brought in. By their side, ultra-aesthetic on the one hand, by their plurality of your other hand (between humour and gravity) and, finally, by the importance given to the soundtrack. If the influences are different (although Kubrick was a Beethoven accents the relatively modern and that Boyle uses an air from ” Carmen “), both directors know how admirably the diversion of music, pre-written, sticking closely to the mood of their films.
To conclude, let us say that the two films, although very rooted in their eras, arriving to cross the ages without wrinkles, and this, because of the timelessness of their subject. It may be that the own cult movies…