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Home » Film

Slipping into Ecstasy with Irvine Welsh at NXNE

Submitted by on June 27, 2012 – 12:36 pmNo Comment

The dark romantic comedy of Irvine Welsh’s novel “Ecstasy” was transformed from prose to picture this year at the NXNE in Toronto, and with the highs of “Trainspotting” in 1995 it’s hard to imagine what could develop from Canadian director and producer Rob Heydon.

It took a similar turn in the sense that the main character narrated the film with a soliloquy, and also in terms of the characters themselves. 

“This is a twisted tale that explores the euphoric highs and the devastating lows that come with a chemical romance,” explained Welsh.

“It’s an in depth look at life through the eyes of a smuggler and an addict.”

The characters both glorify and vilify drug use and the party life style.  There are few people who can encapsulate what it is to be a “club kid”, and yet for some reason Irvine pounds out novel after novel of expertise on the subject.

There’s this unusual unity that lives within these characters, almost a similar ground on which they all tread, and a sort of commonality that progresses through each new novel.

“Everyone knows what it’s like to hide from something they don’t want to face, for my characters; narcotics give them the answers and the abilities to disguise themselves.”

Harsh realities come to light for all the hopefuls wanting to remain in their fake, imaginary world where girls are hot, the music is loud and the love drug brings in the money and high life. “I’m real when I’m high” proclaims Lloyd the main character when faced with the adversity of being bored and stressed out, “death doesn’t kill you, boredom and indifference kill you.”

The story explains all too well the way youth gets lost in being youthful and drugs become an escape from the pain and unhappy facts of our lives. Just as it’s said so eloquently by one – “Conflict creates consciousness”.

It isn’t until Lloyd meets and lets in real love that he’s forced to question whether or not he’s ever known what love really was. Whether he’s feeling it presently or whether he’s just taken too many pills, and as more and more cracks begin to form and break down his world around him, he’s faced with the decision to stay, be lost and run forever, or get out and see what happens when he stops spinning and the world starts.

Novel to screen is a very tricky transition for the best, and fathoming the difficulties of having someone else take your words and breathe life into them is a huge ordeal.

“There’s only so much you can do with a novel of your own, you can read it but you cannot criticize too much. It’s yours but it isn’t for you. There’s this real buzz when you get to see actors play out what you’ve created. When you get to see it all come to life from a different pair of eyes.” said Welsh.

“It was always meant to be a living, breathing thing. I once saw a rendition of it as a play, and I quite liked it. But to see it with the lights, to get the beats of music, the thumping and bustling of the club scene, the atmosphere as a whole, is what you imagine it as in your mind while you’re writing it. It’s a really a unique opportunity.”

If you love Trainspotting, check out this film. It has more beautiful landscapes of Amsterdam and Scotland. It also has a few local shots of Toronto and Kitchener. It has a 51 score track list with artists such as Lightfield, Tiesto, Automated Gardens and Coldplay, and is sure to make you either want to go out and party, or stay home with your loved one and make a connection.

If you’re more of a reader, keep your eyes peeled for Scagboys by Irvine Welsh. It’s the long awaited prequel to Trainspotting, where you get taken back to the 1980s when Renton, Begby, Spud, Sick Boy and Mikey were kids listening to british 80s pop music and country.

“It’s kind of where The Cure meets Brad Paisley” said Welsh.

It’s bound to be another downward spiral and upward battle.

Story by Madysun Ball

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