Am I ready for T2 Trainspotting?

A friend of mine shared this this morning

She said it was for anyone who had the poster on their wall, obsessively played the soundtrack on their CD player and “lived and breathed this film”. And that was me. I loved the original Trainspotting. It was probably the first film with truly adult themes, that I found and made my own. And I think a lot of my generation felt the same. We were obsessed. At the beauty and the horror. Because after all, what’s more horrifying than real life?

But that was 20 years ago. A long time past. I haven’t watched, or even thought about Trainspotting in years. In fact I think the last time it even crossed my mind, was on hearing that Danny Boyle was directing the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. A fleeting “wasn’t he the guy that directed Trainspotting” moment and I moved on. Because Trainspotting and everything about it lived in the past. My past.

So I was really thrown, when I found they’d made a sequel. A real sequel, with the same cast, playing the same characters dealing with real 21st Century shit, the way the real people do. 20 years on in their lives. I can’t say I was happy or sad or excited or reviled. Thrown really was the best way to describe it. And that surprised me.

Part of me really, really wants to see this film. I watched the trailer and it really does look like it’ll break you and entertain you in equal measure, as much as the first ever did. But part of me really, really doesn’t. That part of me just wants to believe Renton got away and lived happily ever after. I know life doesn’t happen like that, we never truly get to out run our past, but that part of me, that 17 year old, 18 year old part of me, who was innocent and naive and hopeful, she still wants to believe we can break away and start again. This film meant so much to me at the time. It broke my heart and gave me hope. Hope in a time when things were bad in my own life. Not as bad as those depicted in the dirty streets of Glasgow I’ll grant you, but bad enough that I wanted to get away. Far away.

And I almost want to protect her naivety. Let her live in blissful ignorance. That the happy ending is all it was and all it takes. I want to shout at the filmmakers “You pulled me in with my suspension of disbelief long enough to care about these characters. To care that good stuff happened to them. So why are you now trying to show me that actually life happened to them? I don’t want to see Cinderella arguing with Prince Charming or having to take a crap with the door open because the kids are screaming at her. I can see that in real life ‘ta very much!”

Or maybe it’s this quote from Robert Carlyle

“I tell you, this film is going to be quite emotional for people. Because the film sort of tells you to think about yourself. You are going to be thinking: ‘Fuck. What have I done with my life?’”

Robert Carlyle, NME

And maybe I’m just too scared of what the answer might be.




Chim, chimineeee…..

Practically Perfect in Every Way???

Practically Perfect in Every Way!

The days are getting distinctively darker and gloomier and the nights are drawing in. The children have gone back to school and even the toddler groups have started up. There’s no denying it any longer. Autumn is well and truly here.

And that’s fab! Don’t get me wrong, I love the sunshine, particularly the kind this past summer delivered. But my favourite season has to be Autumn (and December which is technically winter but hey, I’m among friends). It’s so full of purpose and there seems to be an unending list of things to do. Which I love. The fact that my birthday and Christmas also fall in this time probably helps 😉

One of my favourite things to do when it’s dark and miserable outside, is to curl up on the sofa and watch a film. But these times are not suitable for any old film and towards Christmas they will likely come from my small but quality collection of Christmas movies (Muppet’s Christmas Carol anyone?). But until then, I am a sucker for a feel good Disney movie. I’ve been trying to introduce the boy to Disney films pretty much since he was born. I even bought him some which have male protagonists, (Jungle Book and Monsters Inc) to temper my more female Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. But recently I decided it was time he was introduced to the world of Disney outside pure animation and showed him Mary Poppins.

I love Mary Poppins. I can remember the first time I ever saw it (Christmas Day, 1983) and its been a fixture in my life ever since; recorded off the telly, on the telly or (now in the 21st Century) on Netflix. I’ve been watching it practically all my life and I know all the lyrics to all the songs. I’ve been singing “Stay Awake” to soothe Oscar since he was born and now as soon as I start to sing it, he puts his head on my shoulder. I thought I knew this film.

Until I watched it the other day, with Oscar, through a mother’s eyes. I saw something in it I’d never noticed before and I’m still having trouble articulating what I saw so bare with me.

What I saw, for the first time, was not magic. What I saw, was a person, who comes into the lives of the children and provides them with the opportunity and ability to go on magical adventures using their own imagination. There was no Merry Go Round, there was no tea party on the ceiling. Rather an adult who enabled children to explore their own minds (I also saw a mother who, when she couldn’t find anyone else to look after the children when they had run away from the bank, was happy to leave them in the care of a stranger, a chimney sweep she’d never met, but that’s by the by). For the first time I saw a message to me as an adult; be the conduit through which children can explore and use their imaginations.

Was that message always there? Did I miss it before, because I had no children? Am I reading absolutely too much in to what is actually just a quaint story? Possibly. I mean, like I say I thought I knew this film upside down and back to front. Or do you take from films and books and media what I you need/want to? Probably.

But it’s made me think. Not just about the film itself and what the hell I was seeing from the first time, but about my role in Oscar’s development. When he was tiny it was all about the physical, helping him roll, crawl, walk, eat, keeping him physically safe. But now, I think, I need to turn our attention to the more internal aspects of his development. I’m not talking about ABC, 123 (although we do sing these every day!) I mean I think I need to concentrate on being that conduit, allowing him to develop that imagination. I look at his toys and I think it’s time to move away from those hand eye co-ordination, flashy light, musical thingamajigs and bring out the blocks and the hand size cars and things that make him play.

Being responsible for his physical well being suddenly seems like a doddle. Now I am responsible for encouraging something I have no control over. I can’t see what he’s imagining. I just have to go with him for the ride.

It’s funny. I always wanted to be Jane. She had such pretty dresses and got to dance on the rooftops of London. I never got to be her. But now, I get to be my own Mary Poppins. And that my friends is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!