“Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance…” If you are familiar with this famous quote, you certainly have seen “Trainspotting”, one of my favourites films ever. The British black comedy-drama film released in 1996, directed by Danny Boyle, written by Irvine Welsh and John Hodge, starring Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, became a cult movie that marked and defined the 90s generation.
The film is an adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s junkie novel for the big screen that follows the misadventures of Mark “Rent Boy” Renton (Ewan McGregor), a heroin drug addict who lives in a rough area in Edinburgh, Scotland, surrounded by his unusual mates. Renton tries to get out of his problems, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of his friends.
The struggles against drug addiction, social issues and Edinburgh economic depression in Scotland in the 1980s are some of the reflections explored in the plot by the main character.
The movie soundtrack is as great as the movie. In addition to acquiring cult movie status, “Trainspotting” is recognised for the songs that compose its soundtrack. On-screen, the songs—assembled by director Danny Boyle, producer Andrew MacDonald, and former EMI A&R rep Tristram Penna—were all expertly matched to images that pulsed, rolled, and moved with Boyle’s flashy camera sweeps. And that euphoria continued off-screen with a compilation album that quickly became an indispensable part of any 1990s musical education.
By the time when the film had debuted, an album was released by Capitol, with the main songs of the film. After the enormous success in theatres around the world, the movie production had decided to release “Trainspotting – second volume” that became available in 1997. The second album features other tracks that they were left out of the first one. Both CDs feature songs by Blur, Brian Eno, Primal Scream, Pulp, Elastica, David Bowie and many other artists. Altogether there are 29 tracks of Britpop, dance, alternative rock and other styles.
Despite the rock’ and ‘roll and Britpop genres, “Trainspotting” also helped a lot to promote electronic music in the UK nightclubs and abroad. “Born Slippy” by Underworld is the best example. It considered a classic electronic song closely related to the motion picture.
As we can see in the official trailer, Iggy Pop’s song “Lust For Life” is the track that better represents the film. It plays during the first scene reflecting the daily routine of the junkie Rent Boy and his gang. Rent Boy was looking for his romantic partner. On his first date with Diane Coulston (Kelly Macdonald), the DJ plays a new version of “Temptation” by New Order. In addition , in one of the most intense scenes in the film, Lou Reed song “Perfect Day” is played after Rent Boy overdoses, while he is taken to hospital.
Listen to the movie soundtracks below:
This movie is part of British culture, but also part of Cinema History. It’s a masterpiece!