Dance floor ditty
Another searing, Irvine Welsh book comes to life in the hands of first time director Rob Heydon, writes Colin Fraser.
Esoteric author Irvine Welsh gave the world Trainspotting and by extension, Danny Boyle and Ewan McGregor. He’s now given us Rob Heydon whose adaptation of Welsh’s Ecstasy, another drug-soaked journey through the Scottish underground, enthusiastically deals with familiar themes: pills, parties, love and death.
The former documentary maker wasn’t particularly daunted by Welsh’s reputation although he’s clearly frustrated by the inevitable comparison with Trainspotting.
“Boyle had a respectable budget of several million whereas I’m a first-time director who had to be very creative with the financing,” said Heydon while assuring SX that drug smuggling, one of the film’s central story lines, wasn't part of their creativity. Although a Glaswegian gangster “offered us £10 million without a cast or a script! I thought about it, but what if the investors weren’t happy with outcome?” he laughed. Unlike his character Adam, Heydon didn’t want to swallow condoms to settle the bill.
And while on the subject of truth, strangeness and fiction, a pivotal scene involving pills, a plane and considerable rectal discomfort was sparked by Welsh’s own experience.
“He and Ewan McGregor went to Amsterdam and did something similar with a large tube for personal consumption.” Allegedly.
“When Welsh told me about it, I had to use that in the film.”
Ecstasy is not just drugs and dealing – it’s more a love story from the dance floor and this is the film at its strongest. A DJ friend of Heydon’s (superstar John Digweed) was playing in Edinburgh during the shoot and let him film incognito inside his club. Consequently, these scenes have a rare authenticity and excitement. “There’s no way to replicate the dance floor of a club in a studio,” said Heydon. “If Hollywood tried to do re-capture that energy it would look ridiculous. It would be like a TV show.” More agony than ecstasy.
Ecstasy is in cinemas now.