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Favorite Scenes: the Trainspotting Sean Connery Conversation

July 16, 2010

I’m going on an extended vacation, and am going to be on the move.  Never spending two nights in the same city for four weeks will make it difficult to check out any new releases.  So for the next few weeks I will be exploring some movies that I just can’t live without.  In some cases we’ll talk about movies in their entirety, and in others maybe just a scene.  Here I present the first in this series:

I saw Trainspotting while attending film school in New York City. To me, Danny Boyle was still just ‘that guy’ that made a really good thriller, Shallow Grave, with a beautiful shot of a dark attic full of thin beams of light created by a man gone insane with guilt. Shallow Grave had the potential to position Danny Boyle as a genre filmmaker. Fortunately for the world, he chose to defy being Pigeonholed. I actually don’t believe he’s revisited a genre (I do know there are films unavailable in America though. I’ll have to hunt them down.)

Danny Boyle’s Modus operandi – He steps in and consistently redefines what we think a genre is supposed to be.

My favorite Trainspotting Scene is the Sean Connery conversation in the park. The set up for this scene happened earlier in a conversation between Renton and Swanney, A.K.A. Mother Superior.

Here is the set up:

Mark “Rent-boy” Renton

Gonna get it right this time. Gonna get it sorted out. Gonna get off it for good.


I’ve heard that one before.

Mark “Rent-boy” Renton

The Sick Boy method?


Well, it nearly worked for him, hey.

Mark “Rent-boy” Renton

Well, he’s always been lacking in moral fiber.


He knows a lot about Sean Connery.

Mark “Rent-boy” Renton

That’s hardly a substitute.

Then, in my favorite scene, Renton “being off the skag” realizes that he really doesn’t like his friends. He and Sick Boy are trying to enjoy each others sober company in the Park, but there is little to talk about, other than the downward trajectory of Sean Connery’s career since Name of the Rose.

Added Bonus! How I imagine Danny Boyle explained how his films were going to change a genre:

Trainspotting: “The big city drug picture doesn’t need to be cops n’ robbers. It can be witty. It can be funny. It can have heart. What? No. Of course there isn’t a protagonist. It’s a drug movie.”

Sunshine: “A space voyage film for the sake of the human race with no villain except for the fragile psyche of the human race itself. Shyamalan can suck on that twist.”

Millions: “Kids films can be smart. They are people too.”

28 Days Later: “My zombie’s can run.”

Slumdog Millionaire: “Bollywood, say hello to the world. World, this is Bollywood.”

A life Less Ordinary: “A surreal rom-com with angels, a musical number, kidnapping, Holly Hunter, a barking man, and I’m going to get Cameron Diaz to act.”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 21, 2010 2:06 pm

    Nice choices. A film with a wealth of classic scenes is Withnail & I. And it has a great sprinkling of quotes. It is infinitely more fascinating than the geranium!

  2. July 22, 2010 6:54 am

    Thanks Róisín! Netflix keeps telling me I should see With Nail… I should just listen to that computer program more often. It seems to always be right.

    • July 24, 2010 4:22 am

      If you were able to hack The Saddest Music in the World, then Withnail and I’s comedy will definitely be to your liking! Richard E. Grant is in his element 🙂

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