CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.
Film Review: ‘T2 Trainspotting’ is a Nostalgic Trip That Stays on the Rails
CHICAGO – Sequels are the bane of film’s existence. They tend to end with unresolved plotlines in an attempt to promote the need for another film. Disappointing film franchises have been built this way, but Danny Boyle is the last person I would have expected this from. “T2 Trainspotting” is the sequel to “Trainspotting” that we never wanted but are surprisingly happy to have.
“Trainspotting” didn’t end the conventional way by resolving every conflict, but instead ended with the limitless potential of a new beginning. Danny Boyle has never been a slave to conventions so this comes as no surprise, but the way he ended the first film left it completely open-ended and up to the imagination of the viewer. There is a purity to that approach that forces the audience to take everything they have experienced and learned during the film and use it to create their own ending. True filmmaking should always transform the audience into active participants, and “Trainspotting” accomplishes that in spades. I’m not just referring to the traumatizing scenes with the baby on the ceiling or dead in the crib, which haunted me the first time I saw the film as a child. [In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have been allowed to see this film as young as I saw it]
Boyle has always held the longstanding idea that he would never create a sequel to any of his films, and we happily thanked him for that. When told correctly, there is never the need to tell a compelling story with sequels. At least, that’s the view I had going into “T2.” The film takes place 20 years after the events of the first film with the majority of the original cast reprising their roles. The story follows Renton’s (Ewan McGregor) journey as he returns home to reconcile with his past and plan for a future he never knew he would have. Returning screenplay writer John Hodge returns to tell continue the story by putting the old crew into similar situations and escapades that made the first film so exciting. Although the sequel it takes some of the power away from the open ending in “Trainspotting,” “T2” gives us something equally satiating by providing a sense of closure we didn’t realize we needed.
Simon (Jonny Lee Miller) and Renton (Ewan McGregor) bonding over bad habits in ‘T2 Trainspotting’
Photo credit: Sony Pictures