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Culture Vulture Schmulture – C

In a feature shamelessly “inspired” by The Times‘s Culture Vulture, British Expat brings you the above titled (subtitled “Things you should own, if they’re the sort of thing you might like…”)

This week we’re on to “C”. I have to admit, I’ve struggled to come up with something for this week. However, ever the soldier, I have consumed vast amounts of alcohol this week (in the interests of creativity, of course), and come up with something tenuously cultural and tenuously “C”-ish.

Given that the only other thing I could come up with was C’mon Kids, by the now defunct Boo Radleys, you’ll have to forgive me for choosing part of a film.

Trainspotting. It’s pants really, isn’t it? I can’t comment on whether it’s a true reflection of ’90s Edinburgh life or not, but I can comment on its quality as a film. The producers have clearly sat down and decided how they’d like to transform the book into a film. Personally, I think they’ve failed. OK, bits of it are funny, bits of it are touching and so on, but it really has never struck me as anything more than a collection of sketches, linked loosely with a fairly poor central thread. Some of these sketches, however, are exceptionally well produced. The best is the opening scene. As a paradigm of the film’s message it works better than any other scene. That’s why this week’s “Thing you might quite like to think about buying, if it’s the sort of thing you’ve enjoyed in the past…” is Choose Life, from the film that should be of the same name.

“Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish f__ed-up brats you spawned to replace yourself…” Of all the books, films, records, etc. released during the ’90s, only The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” (“You’re a slave to the money, then you die…”) comes close to being as bluntly realistic as the above sentiment. My walls at home are saved from bareness by a postcard carrying the entire diatribe from Trainspotting‘s opening scene. The action itself is just as eye-opening – Renton, played by the omni-present Ewan McGregor, is running away from some security guards and almost gets killed by a car coming from out of a side-road. He bounces off the bonnet, pauses to glare at the driver and grins maniacally for a split-second, before being swept up again in the drama he has caused. It really is an enduring image, and one that was criminally overlooked in a recent poll of the top 100 film moments.

I know it’s a bit of a cop-out, but hey, cut me some slack! It’s significantly more difficult than I thought it would be. Some weeks I’m deluged with options, some weeks it’s a little bit tougher. Next week should be good though…

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