Trainspotting An analysis of the opening scene By Emma Trim
This mid shot looking up at Renton running highlights the importance or status of Renton within the film. Colours date the film, connoting that its shot in the early 90’s late 80’s, reflecting the “zeitgeist”.
Camera tilts up from the feet running towards you, the audience feel inferior, creating interest in what’s happening. Music builds pace, increases curiosity. The beat of the music (lust for life- Iggy Pop) fits with the running of the feet.
Wide shot of the group running away under bridge getting smaller- contrasting from their stature at the start; they begin to look small in relation to a strong concrete bridge. You realise they are not as powerful as they first appeared to be. Also the bridge could be interpreted as “seeing light at the end of the tunnel.” Which is a visual motif framing the film, as Renton tries to escape a life of heroin.
Mid close up of Renton laughing into the car makes the audience feel like the person in the car; the man leaning over the bonnet laughing appears un-fazed by being hit by the car. He’s invincible. It connotes that Renton can’t be knocked; whatever happens he’ll pick himself up and keep going.
Long shot Low angle Long shot Long shot/Mid shot Action shots of the group during football game – showing their character, you have the weedy one, the loud one, the fierce one, the joker, the realist etc. A lot of back lighting on Sick Boy. The framing for each shot represents the characters personality or possible characteristics.
Tilt up at the girls- they’re not important in the film but they play a part. Camera suggests they are an “add on” to the gang. Almost like an accessory.
Man falls to the ground, because the camera is level with him on the ground; begin to feel a part of the film Mid close up silhouette of man’s side profile (head and shoulders) - he’s a silhouette so the audience still can’t make out exactly what he looks like. Leaves suspense, and also leaves the silhouette in power of being able to change if he so wishes.
match on action of man’s fall Big close up, as smoke exits man’s lips- The audience think the shot is frozen but then they see a slow movement as smoke drifts up. The smoke could be a metaphor for something leaving his body. The smoke showing his breathing provides a sight that you wouldn’t normally see. You get an insight.
180 degree rule as camera pans over his body. Out of focus on his body focusing on the images in the background. Drawing attention to the squalor in which he lives. The back light dims the tone of the room, making it looks un clean, and advertises to the male gender aged between 18-35.
Camera pans down the wall “welcome to mother superiors” -the very basic swamp green wall and dark lighting connotes a deeper light with colours that suggest a unhygenic dirty world, or a darker power within. The words in the sentence support this and suggest that there is a god involved. In this case they all worship Heroin and the shots to follow compliment this statement.
The camera pans across the baby in one doorway then tracks into the heroin in the next room. This a very meaningful shot, showing the fine divide between reality and another world. It also contrasts the story of life, showing a fragile innocence in one doorway and a life of drugs in another. Following on from this, is connotes two possible path ways, to which Renton eventually meets and chooses to change. Like the shot of the bridge this shot also frames another message within the film.
Bird’s eye view of man on floor, this shot follows on from the last, supporting the statement that there are two lifestyles in one household. This shot is within the heroin doorway, with only a brick wall dividing from the naive innocence of the baby. Spud is establishing the typical household routine, and is framed by the rule of thirds.