A NYC schoolteacher now working in Amsterdam, an Australian-born Parisian hotel bartender residing in Edinburgh (who the schoolteacher met at her hotel the night before), and a vibrant chaplain semi-retired from conducting “Trainspotting Tours,” walk into a bar. But this isn’t a setup for a Sick Boy joke – nor is it just any bar. The three met up in a dank corner of the very same pub near Princes Street that was used in the opening scene of Boyle’s cult flick. (And the schoolteacher is my sister – who found plenty of local color off-screen while I was busy covering the Edinburgh International Film Festival for “Filmmaker” magazine.) Setting the scene in his thick Scottish brogue, guide Tim Bell pulled a worn copy of Irvine Welsh’s infamous novel from his rucksack and proceeded to take his guests on an absurd, spontaneous, and magical, Speed Levitch-worthy journey where literature, film and reality meshed and sometimes collided (as in the case of the glossary at the back of Welsh’s book – which Bell assured his listeners is pure “shite,” especially when it comes to the definition of the word “tidy”). And my sister – who afterwards pronounced herself truly “spawny” – assured me that neither Welsh nor Boyle could have scripted a better scene. Quoting E.M. Forster she was reminded that, “One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.”
To read my interview visit Global Comment.