Tonight, I got to take a little trip back to 1996.
I’ve been in a bit of a 1996-ish mood this week. I’ve been listening to Sponge and Screaming Trees on my MP3 player and wearing a bit more black. So when tonight’s scheduled activities fell into place, it was definitely a trip back to being an eighteen year old, unemployed UBC dropout in Victoria. Riding my bike to see Trainspotting in a theater? I’ve done that before.
Trainspotting is a movie that brings back a lot of memories for me. Not the drugs association of it, but simply the sense of the outside community, the young, desperate clump of people outside of normal existence. Everyone in the movie is an outsider, and those that aren’t are portrayed as bland and pedestrian. And when I was eighteen in Alternative Victoria, that was exactly the perspective I was trying to gain. There were never any drugs in the circle of people I hung out with (except the usual BC grown products), but it was still an outsider community, devoid of the goals of the middle class (“choose life, choose a car, choose a family, etc”), existing in bleak apartments and borderline poverty throughout the city core.
I haven’t seen Trainspotting in theaters since I was eighteen, although I do own the video. But I haven’t watched it in years – and I’d forgotten, how well the movie is done. How well the editing is put together, cut and pasted into parallels and anecdotes. How brilliant the shots and angles are. The way the rooms and backgrounds are exaggerated to serve to heighten the emotions in the scene. It’s still very real, but with a bit of hyper-reality to it, just to intensify the impact. The plotline is one thing, but the translation to the screen is brilliant.
So I was happy enough to see the movie again tonight. It was part of the Midnight Movies at the Nuart Theater in Santa Monica. They run classic GenXer movies every Friday night. I believe the Princess Bride is coming up soon. So are Run Lola Run and Back to the Future. Mallrats, another of my absolute favorite movies, is coming up September 9th. It’s a great idea, and I will rarely pass up the opportunity to see a movie I love in the theater, to hear other people react to it, to see it in those dimensions.
Before the movie, however, we went to a Critical Mass ride, with a Wild West theme. A cop attempted to tell us, weakly, to obey traffic laws – but when there’s fifty people on bikes, what are you going to do? And swarming people in BMWs or Mercedes down in Santa Monica, surrounding their cars with cyclists, is just too much fun. We biked for about an hour, until the whole crew decided to lynch a troublesome bike in Mar Vista park, and then the NerdSquad and I headed to the theater.
But between the biking and the movie, I definitely feel very 1996ish. I’m sure that will wear off by tomorrow though. Tomorrow, I will be back to being twenty-six, not eighteen – but sometimes, it’s necessary to get a glimpse of who you were, to better incorporate it into who you are.
Which Trainspotter are you?