Usually I avoid the subway like the plague. Because there’s always the chance I’ll catch that instead of the 6 train. But this past week when a massive storm whipped and watered a path up the east coast, there was no way of avoiding the petri dish of passage between home and The Frick. Except […]
The next Street food event on Ecclesall Road, takes place February 24th and 25th. It has a carnival theme. It does not specifically say it is for Mardi Gras, but it is during traditional Mardi Gras season. Mardi Gras are celebrations (parades and carnivals) that occur in the two weeks prior to Ash Wednesday. This year Shrove Tuesday is on the Tuesday 28th February and Ash Wednesday is Wednesday 1st March.
If you’re in your 40s, it’s a pretty safe bet that, about 20 years ago, either you or someone you know will have had a Trainspotting poster on their wall. And owned the soundtrack. And, of course, went to see Danny Boyle’s second film, based on Irvine Welsh’s cult novel, that became a phenomena long before Boyle enjoyed a second lease of creative life as the mastermind behind the brilliant London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony.
The original Trainspotting captured the zeitgeist. Ewan McGregor’s opening Choose Life monologue, delivered over the unmistakable tones of Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life, captured the imagination of a generation. It propelled Boyle into the big league, showcasing his Scorsese-way with a camera and his keen eye for a set-piece. It also turned Ewan McGregor, then best known for the lead in Dennis Potter’s Channel 4 drama Lipstick On Your Collar, into an international superstar.
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Choose bring old enough, to see history repeating itself. Female prime minster like; when you were a child. Spice girls, in 90s and now giving birth. More sinister the perceived threat of exclusion of sections of population like in the Holocaust.
Choose your time to be angry and engaged in politics; Brexit, Trump’s travel ban, attending demos outside town and city hall. Like those when you were growing up were angry about Thatcher, poll tax and other topics you were oblivious to at the time.
Choose brain being overloaded with usernames and passwords. Choose forgotten password option.
Choose instead of overhearing conversations at school about what cool kids are doing, seeing what ‘friends’ are up to without you from their Facebook posts; travel, nights out, weddings and children.
Choose being addicted to your phone. All so safe, alone at home, with only your phone. Choose nearly constantly, holding your phone to check e-mails, whatsapp, Facebook, step count, word games, turning heating up on Hive app.
Choose feeling superior because at least you don’t use your phone on toilet.
According to an interview I heard Trainspotting 2. was intended to be watchable by both those who had watched the original Trainspotting and those who had not. It would be interesting to hear what someone who had never seen the original thought of Trainspotting 2; whether it was understandable, whether it inspired them to see the original. What follows should not spoil either Trainspotting 1 or 2.
I had not watched the original untill 2 weeks ago, being too young to really be aware of the original at the time. I liked the second one better, it had more pace. I watched the first on my sofa, so that may have led to me losing interest towards the end; maybe I would have engaged with the film and characters if I had watched in the cinema. The first was slow and rather incorrherent and to me thin plot being more about general atmosphere ; perhapas meant to echo being in a drug induced haze. In the second the characters are not quite so drug obsessed and the plot is more coherent, the cast matured to varying degrees albeit no one living the suburban scorned by the original choose life monologue.
The updated monologue features in the trailer as images from the film flash up. Perhaps it would have been effective to bookend the film with the original and updated monologue. At the start the orignal monologue with scenes from the orignal film, to recap or acquaint with the orignal film. Then keep the audience in the cinema as the credits went up with the updated version mixed with scenes from the film as a summary, as it is in the trailer. Alas for better or worse this is not how it is in the film. In the film although delivered powerfully by MacGregegor it is not necessarily smoothly incorporated into the sequence of the film.
Choose facebook, twitter, instragram and hope that someone somewhere cares.
Choose looking up old flames, wishing you had done it all differently and choose history repeat itself.
Choose your future.
Choose reality tv, slut shaming, revenge porn.
Choose a zero hour contract, a two hour journey to work. And choose the same for your kids only worse. And smoother the pain with an unknown dose of an unknown drug made in somebodies kitchen.
And then take a deep breath. Your an addict so be addicted. Just be addicted to something else.
Choose the one you love.
Choose your future.
It does feel retrospective with talk of looking up old flames, I have read that some have thought it did not seem like an appropriate speech for the character because the character would not have been using social media but, then the point of the monologue is not to reflect their lives. The characters would be very much aware of the themes in the monologue; revenge porn, zero hour contracts etc.. The film does show them using mobiles, accurately reflecting modern life. Perhapas the addiction referred, to at the end is the addiction to phones and social media, taking pictures and communicating with ones you love albeit it can be isolating ‘hope that someone cares’.
Could anyone have written the monologue better? I have seen a website challenging people to have to better as part of a completion that closed a couple of days ago.
It seems Trainspotting for those who watched it at the time contains iconic cultural references. Politician Hannah Bardell had recently gave a speech tapping into 2017’s renewed interest in Trainspotting.
For me, I do find the new monologue thought provoking, the line ‘see history repeating’ I feel is very relevant at the moment. I’m pleased to albeit late to have an understanding of the Trainspotting phenomen. I enjoyed the music in both, which reminds me of my 90s!
My 2017 monologue, now I’m in Trainspotting spirit.
A garden that is to be part of Chelesea flower show is due to feature steeet art by faunagraphic. The garden called Greening Grey Britain has been designed by Nigel Dunnett who is a professor of planting design and urban horticulture at Sheffield university and is a royal horticultural ambassador. An example, of Faunagraphic work can be seen opposite Decathlon, on the same side as Staples.