Date: 23 February, 1996. Scene: Glasgow Filmhouse. Action: premiere of Trainspotting. Effects: the birth of a cultural and box office fireball.
Reactions were mixed:
Trainspotting has a shallow, joyless ring… it embraces a new soulless addiction to materialism… Eddie Dyja
Film of the year. Already! NME, March 1996
Spends far too much of its time with its nose pressed up against the glass of American cinema… Until British film kicks this habit, it will continue to churn out films such as this… utterly empty, a cold turkey despite the fancy trimmings. Tom Shone
A shockingly painful subjective crawl through the Edinburgh heroin culture of the 1980s… a triumph… amoral but not unthinking and certainly not unfeeling… [it] flies on sheer momentum… a sensation. Halliwell’s Guide 2011
It is sad if this is the best that film-makers can turn their minds to. Rev Bill Wallace, Church of Scotland spokesman
[it promotes the] glorification and romance of heroin. Bob Dole, Republican presidential candidate 1996.
… surrealistic and naturalistic, fantastical and gritty, hip and harrowing. It trod a dangerous thematic tightrope, and did so with a confidence and panache that took the breath away. Xan Brooks
And what do YOU think? Be honest! You can find something in the that list to pin your opinions to. It might be time for a re-assessment. Look out tomorrow for some comments in the press – that fact it is still causing ripples says something about the initial impact.