Thursday, August 30, 2012

Choose Life?

I first saw TRAINSPOTTING in 1995.  I remember the experience fairly well.  First off, I couldn't understand a darn word being said, and it was the very first time I ever used the Closed Caption option on a television to read the dialogue in a programme.  Secondly, the poor sod who soils his girlfriend's bed?  The lesson I took from that scene was that if you didn't have sex for an extended period of time, that would happen.

The third thing was this sense of superiority I felt, thinking I was so much better than these people, with their disgusting habits and laundry list of sinful activities.  I could look down on them in 1995, and I would look down on them when the trump blew and they all burned in ever-lasting hellfire.*  Sickening junkie pervert losers.

Well, here it is 2012, and I just watched TRAINSPOTTING for the second time.  And it was a remarkably different experience for me.    First off, I understood everything, even the slang, and even Robert Carlysle's crazy rants.  My constant exposure to BBC television and the Scottish movies Jeff has made me watch has opened up my ears to various previously-foreign dialects.**  Heck, I believe the VHS version was even the American dub, where they attempted to make the dialogue more palatable for folks in Lawrence and Des Moines.

Secondly, well, yeah, I've had it explained to me.

Thirdly, though, was what a remarkable change in attitude I've had over the past near two decades.  In watching it again, I actually found myself envying Renton, Sick Boy, Spud, and the others.

Yes, they are heroin-addicts, but they have drive, they live for something, they wake up in the morning with a goal, a tangible, real goal.  And it's something they can achieve.  They live for something, have an obsession that they'll do anything for, which I really don't have.  The lifestyle seemed kind of romantic, worst toilet in Scotland notwithstanding.
Plus, I really responded to the soundtrack this time, and didn't even notice it back then.

I'd be crazy if I said the dead baby scene still didn't bother me, but I still thought, "Heroin.  That's something I never considered.  But I should."  Why not?  Could it possibly screw up my life any more than it already is?  And hey, maybe I'd have something exciting to look forward to every morning (or more likely, afternoon) when I woke up.

Rish "Spraintotter" Outfield

*Okay, this is a huge exaggeration.  I may have been a different type of person in those days, but I was never a fucking asshole.

**All those faces were so new to me when the movie was new (or "new," since I saw it on video), but so many of them are familiar now.

1 comment:

MH said...

That is a more mature perspective. You still probably shouldn't do heroin though.

By the way, just want to say I'm a big fan of the Horror Film Compendium. I still re-read its reviews of movies I've just seen for the first time, or browse through the posts on films I'm not familiar with. Good stuff.