BY ISA MONTAGNESE
My love for film started super early, like most film buffs. But my love for everything dark, weird and funny started in my teens. My gran unknowingly fuelled my desire for everything odd and gross when she introduced me to Trainspotting.
My gran is Scottish, so when my parents rented Trainspotting, they thought of her, especially during the speech about how shite it is being Scottish. One day on the phone with Gran, my mum mentioned how funny this speech was, and because Gran used to buy movies instead of rent, she bought it. A few days after watching it, Gran called and ripped my mum a new one for making her watch a movie with a dead baby in it!
Years later, I was at Gran’s for Christmas and was rummaging through her VHS tapes for something to pass the time and found Trainspotting on the shelf. I thought it was the weirdest-looking movie. I asked Gran what it was and her and my mum told me the story laughing. Gran told me to take it home at my own risk because it was the worst movie she’d ever seen, so naturally, I wanted to watch so bad!
I watched it at home, and I died of Ewen McGregor druggy goodness. I was about 14 and lived in Northern Ontario at the time, so this was one of the first really weird, offbeat movies I had ever seen. I must have watched it a million times. I was totally obsessed with McGregor and Robert Carlyle and wanted to live in Scotland, go to pubs and have crazy friends. I had the book, two posters and a Spud keychain (thanks to my sister). More importantly though, it made me so excited about film again.
After Trainspotting, I started doing research about how films were made and what was out there. I even joined my local Cineclub as their only member under 40. Until around that time, I thought movies were great, but all kind of the same. I knew there were other movies out there, but I never thought such gross, funny and weird movies were available. I know Trainspotting isn’t the weirdest movie, but it was for me back then! It had a great soundtrack and great actors, great slightly gimmicky camera tricks and a silly voice over. I wanted to live in every club scene. I wanted to wear Diane’s dress. I wanted to under appreciate the Highlands and make out in the back of a black cab.
I wore that VHS out eventually and started looking for it on DVD, and one day while on “vacation” in North Bay, I found a used copy. It was the first DVD I ever bought. My gran was with me and still makes the same face when I mention it.
Thanks Gran, for accidentally sparking my major love affair with film.