Event Recap: Irvine Welsh on Trainspotting

On Monday, June 1, 2015, I was lucky enough to see Trainspotting (1996) at the TIFF Bell Lightbox as part of their #BooksonFilm series this season. The event included a screening of the film, an introduction and Q&A with author of the novel Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh, and a book signing with Welsh to follow.


First off, going into this event, I’d read the novel and loved it, but I’d never seen the film adaptation. So if for nothing else, I was finally going to see this movie that book-lovers had been recommending to me for years. I got in line, eagerly brandished my ticket at the ushers, and rushed to the front row of the theatre. I’m not one to prefer the back of a movie theatre anyway (the best experiences for me have always been sitting right up close, in the action), and I wanted a good seat for the Q&A to follow the film!


As many could have guessed, I really enjoyed the film adaptation of Trainspotting. The discussion afterwards hosted by Eleanor Wachtel was extremely informative and gave me a great background on Welsh and where the idea for this iconic novel came from. The audience was given the chance take the floor with questions of its own, and all throughout, I found myself surprised as to how friendly and honest Welsh was being with his answers. Whenever I imagine a great author, I don’t normally picture someone as laid back as Welsh was, but it was a trait that I highly appreciated and respected as an aspiring writer, myself.


The audience spilled out of the theatre doors to the area just outside where Welsh would be signing. The line up was surprisingly manageable for an event this size, which was nice. I was able to speak with Welsh briefly about the film adaptation while he signed my copy of Trainspotting, and then posed for a quick photo.

Overall, I loved getting to speak with Welsh and other film fans throughout the night! It was a great experience and I’d go back to similar TIFF events in a heartbeat.

If this type of event sounds interesting to you, there is one more screening in the Books on Film series by TIFF on Monday, June 22 at 7pm which will include essayist, poet, novelist, and film critic Phillip Lopate discussing the 1969 adaptation of Muriel Spark’s novel, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. You can read more about the event here!


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