Viet Nam News
EDINBURGH — It was the shocking, surreal, drug-fuelled movie that defined a generation. Two decades later, the ageing Scottish lowlifes of Trainspotting are back with a new sequel which premiered Sunday in Edinburgh.
T2: Trainspotting reunites Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller and Ewen Bremner with now Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle.
Renton, the character that launched the career of Star Wars actor McGregor, returns to Edinburgh after years away -- and his friends Begbie, Sick Boy and Spud are waiting, as dysfunctional as ever.
While the first movie was shot mostly in Glasgow, despite being set in the once heroin-blighted Edinburgh suburb of Leith, T2 sees the Scottish capital take on a central role.
"It was lovely to shoot here in Edinburgh, and you feel that Edinburgh is much more of a character in this film than it was in the first one, and it’s absolutely right that we are here for the premiere," said McGregor.
Two decades on, Sick Boy (Miller) is a pimp exploiting the wave of gentrification that has swept the city, psycho Begbie (Carlyle) is an escaped convict and burglar, and Spud (Bremer) is still "on the skag".
Heroin has been relegated to a bit-part behind cocaine and Viagra, Begbie is even more foul-mouthed and menacing than ever, and there are plenty more gut-wrenching gross out scenes to match Spud’s breakfast table surprise in the first movie.
But despite the tough scenes, Bremer said the film has "a lot of humour in it".
"It’s based on the real struggle of what it is to get by, you know, why people fill their lives with something... whether it is heroin or whatever they find to fill the void and heal the pain," said he.
Betrayal and reconciliation
There are references throughout to the first movie, including to its hugely successful soundtrack with a remix of Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life.
Irvine Welsh, author of the Trainspotting novel, said the inclusion of Edinburgh group Young Fathers gave the new film a "distinctive Edinburgh feel".
"They’re fantastic artists, and Danny very much saw them as being the voice of Trainspotting 2," said he at the premiere.
While new voices appear on the soundtrack, Boyle said bringing the earlier cast back for T2 saw them add their two decades of experience.
"They stepped back into the roles... they factored in their own 20 years of experience into their characters and they were off and on their way," he told the Associated Press.
Expectations are high after the first film, which was made for just US$3 million in 1996, won critical acclaim and grossed over $70 million worldwide.
Reviews so far have been largely positive -- The Guardian said it was not as good as the first, but "has the same punchy energy, the same defiant pessimism, and there’s nothing around like it".
T2 is about betrayal and reconciliation, both in front and behind thecamera.
In Trainspotting, Renton ditched his friends and ran off to Amsterdam with the takings of a big drug deal.
Boyle and McGregor, who worked together on Shallow Grave and A Life Less Ordinary, also fell out after the director cast Leonardo DiCaprio in The Beach. — AFP
class=apple-converted-space> Hidden Figures, Lion, Moonlight all set for major nominations, it seems like diversity will thankfully win the day for this year’s Oscar nominations," Beachum said.
But the woman behind the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, April Reign, said although Hollywood has made progress, it was still too early to cancel the hashtag.
"One year does not fix a problem that has been going on for over 80," she told National Public Radio in a recent interview. "There has been an increase in the number of films that reflect the black experience."
"However with respect to people of color overall, with respect to marginalized communities -- which is what #OscarsSoWhite is all about -- it’s still been a relatively poor year." —AFP