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drug users subject to urban poverty

 
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drug users subject to urban poverty - 4/12/2013 2:16:37 PM   
freckles95

 

Posts: 5
Joined: 19/11/2013
Hey guys! Would like to discuss The representation of drug users subject to urban poverty
I'm mostly focusing on the films Trainspotting, Kids and Human Traffic

What I've noticed so far is that in all three films drugs are used as a form of escapism from fitting into social expectations and to get away from the boredom of having a day job. All characters seem to be in some sort of poverty or do not feel fulfilled in their lives. This may be because of Thatcherism of the 80s and the interest in the individual.
They also seem to all be surviving as a unit ie the drugs separate them from society and force them to live in a world of their own.

Does anyone have any further comments on these films?
Post #: 1
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 4/12/2013 3:02:45 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54438
Joined: 1/10/2005
And before anyone says anything the user was asked to do another thread with more substance and has returned and done that

If you think Thatcherism was a factor for the UK films what do you think was going on with Kids? Lucky sods didn't have Thatcher - was Clinton's America comparable? And how strong do you think Thatcherism still was in the late 90s, 2 years into life under Labour?

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RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 5/12/2013 12:39:52 AM   
rich


Posts: 4662
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Neo Kobe
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

And before anyone says anything the user was asked to do another thread with more substance and has returned and done that



Spoilsport.

The ideas of rejecting modern life in something like Trainspotting don't generally suggest an era to me as much as the present those attitudes that are always around ... besides the awful 90s music that plays in the London montage about half way through which takes me out of it every time.

< Message edited by rich -- 5/12/2013 12:47:14 AM >


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RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 5/12/2013 11:40:25 AM   
freckles95

 

Posts: 5
Joined: 19/11/2013
Thanks for bringing up those questions, I don't know much about it so I will have to research it!
I was also hoping to get other feeling on the subject no matter how well informed :)

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Post #: 4
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 5/12/2013 11:43:31 AM   
freckles95

 

Posts: 5
Joined: 19/11/2013

quote:

ORIGINAL: rich

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

And before anyone says anything the user was asked to do another thread with more substance and has returned and done that



Spoilsport.

The ideas of rejecting modern life in something like Trainspotting don't generally suggest an era to me as much as the present those attitudes that are always around ... besides the awful 90s music that plays in the London montage about half way through which takes me out of it every time.


welllllll…….. are those attitudes that came out more overtly in 90s cinema due to politics? also 90s music is great i don't know what you are talking about!

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Post #: 5
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 5/12/2013 11:51:04 AM   
AxlReznor

 

Posts: 1623
Joined: 2/12/2010
From: Great Britain
Those attitudes come to the fore whenever the political mainstream isn't in line with the lives that real people lead. And they tend to be best expressed in the music of the time... so it happened in the early 60's, late 70's, early 90's, and it's beginning to come around again now with a vengeance.

Also, I think it's less that drug users are subject to poverty and more that the poor are subject to drug use. If that makes any sense. But it's absolutely as a form of escapism from the existence they have... even though it only exacerbates their poverty.

< Message edited by AxlReznor -- 5/12/2013 11:54:17 AM >

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Post #: 6
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 11/12/2013 3:16:41 PM   
Moorish


Posts: 326
Joined: 17/10/2005
From: Scotland
Decent people don't do drugs. This is my stance on drugs. Thank You.

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Post #: 7
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 28/12/2013 8:00:54 PM   
Onlythebassist


Posts: 31
Joined: 28/12/2013
In respect to 'Trainspotting', have you considered the representation of Begbie's character, in terms of his legal drug (alcohol)? Whereas Renton and the other addicts cause damage to themselves internally, Begbie's violent nature affects himself and innocent bystanders. Granted that heroin is generally seen as more dangerous than alcohol, it could be said that Boyle is showing how even acceptable vices will harm unpredictably.

Other than that, the idea of control is interesting. Consider that Renton not only separates himself from society, but gives up the power of self-control to narcotics. Not too familiar with the other two films unfortunately, but hope this generates some useful trains (big sigh at own crappy gag) of thought

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Post #: 8
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 28/12/2013 8:15:13 PM   
superdan


Posts: 8054
Joined: 31/7/2008

quote:

ORIGINAL: Moorish

Decent people don't do drugs. This is my stance on drugs. Thank You.


There is comfort in a black-and-white viewpoint I suppose.

Anyway, I think the point Onlythebassist makes above is an interesting one wrt Begbie being the biggest scumbag in the movie and he doesn't touch drugs. It's a similar theme in The Wire, in that the drug users themselves are typically the least threatening characters.

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Post #: 9
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 28/12/2013 8:25:14 PM   
MonsterCat


Posts: 7932
Joined: 24/3/2011
From: St. Albans, Hertfordshire

quote:

ORIGINAL: Moorish

Decent people don't do drugs. This is my stance on drugs. Thank You.


This is exactly the kind of holier than thou garbage concerning addicts that really sticks in my craw.







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Post #: 10
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 28/12/2013 8:54:26 PM   
Shifty Bench

 

Posts: 15397
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Land of the Scots
quote:

ORIGINAL: Moorish

Decent people don't do drugs. This is my stance on drugs. Thank You.


I know a few non-decent people who don't do drugs and some decent people who do, so- no.

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Post #: 11
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 3/1/2014 2:47:26 PM   
Hardcore Raver

 

Posts: 1454
Joined: 27/10/2005
From: Stroud, Gloucestershire
I think in Human Traffic, the characters don't take drugs because they want to escape their boring jobs. It's more that they are willing to work these jobs in order to fund their weekend. It reflects the culture of the clubbing scene at the end of the nineties, which was all about living for the weekend. In fact, the super club, Cream, ran an advertising campaign based on this premiss. In many ways, the club/drug scene in the late nineties is similar to that of the late eighties when rave really kicked off. Whilst the music styles were different (breakbeat hardcore vs. trance), they were both euphoric and both were heavily influenced by ecstasy. After a few years of poor quality pills, towards the end of the nineties the drug saw something of a renaissance, most famously in the form of the Mitsubishi pill. I think the success of all of the big clubs at the time (Gatecrasher, Cream, Godskitchen, etc...) would have been much less were it not for the Mitsubishi, and by extension, Human Traffic would never have been made. I'm not sure this even comes close to answering your original question, but I think it's important to understand the clubbing culture of the time in order to really analyse the film.

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Post #: 12
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 3/1/2014 7:38:52 PM   
Cool Breeze


Posts: 2197
Joined: 9/11/2011
From: The Internet
Only idiots do drugs.

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Post #: 13
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 3/1/2014 7:49:52 PM   
garvielloken


Posts: 1189
Joined: 23/10/2011
Care to expand on that? I experimented with a lot of drugs in my early 20s and came out the other side ok. I guess I never realized that I turned into a drooling idiot during the process.

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Post #: 14
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 3/1/2014 8:00:22 PM   
Onlythebassist


Posts: 31
Joined: 28/12/2013
Whereas the argument concerning drug use in real life is complex and inevitably will divide the opinions of most, this thread is talking about the use of drugs IN FILMS. Not real use. Recreated scenes for audience consumption.

So for the love of god, tailor your answers around that, not your own moral views.

/rant
(I am not OP, but wish to clear that up on their behalf to avoid the constant stream of 'drugs are bad'.

Might want to consider the opposing representations - being the amelioration of drugs vs the pejoration of drugs. Films with drugs tend to have both good and bad representations: eg. Pulp Fiction

-Small SPOILER ALERT- (but if you haven't seen Pulp Fiction, I highly recommend it)
Good: Vincent's encounters with Lance (drug dealer)
Any clean highs
Light conversation about drugs (Vincent/Jules on Amsterdam)

Bad: Mia Wallace's overdose
Repercussions of drug trade (shooting in apartment block - Ezekiel 25:17)

The consideration would be which side weighs most; good or bad representations?


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Post #: 15
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 3/1/2014 8:14:19 PM   
garvielloken


Posts: 1189
Joined: 23/10/2011
Maybe he had a point. I had to look up the meaning of amelioration.

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Post #: 16
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 3/1/2014 8:20:34 PM   
Onlythebassist


Posts: 31
Joined: 28/12/2013
Heck, I'm not exactly clean . I'm not one to defend that stuff, everyone has their own opinion, but it's too easy to write a one line statement without appropriation justification.

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Post #: 17
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 3/1/2014 9:22:47 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cool Breeze

Only idiots do drugs.


So are we to assume you're high every night?

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Post #: 18
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 3/1/2014 9:52:17 PM   
Mister Coe

 

Posts: 1426
Joined: 20/10/2012
I can honestly say that pretty much all my friends have done drugs at one point or another. It might have been a brief, experimental thing or it might have been a period of prolonged use...

Not one of them has ever been truly fucked up at any point. They did a bit of this, that or the other, and then they moved on...

On my part? I've done dope, mushrooms, acid, speed and E. Never got into anything harder because, you know, I enjoyed doing drugs but I had some fucking SENSE...

My verdict? Had a bloody good time.

I almost never touch drugs nowadays... I share the odd spliff once in a while. Big deal.

And I say this whilst watching Saturday-night fuckwits pour hard and cheap drinks down their stupid throats until they are desperate to fight or rape or piss in the streets..?

Alcohol is the big fucker-upper in society nowadays. IMO, anyway, feel free to shoot me down on this one...





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RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 3/1/2014 9:56:55 PM   
Hood_Man


Posts: 12121
Joined: 30/9/2005
I've never strayed beyond beer to be honest, but I've always been curious to have a go at something a bit stronger. The only trouble is I don't want to do it alone and I don't really want to go around asking people to join me either.

"Wanna buy some death sticks?"

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Post #: 20
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 3/1/2014 10:34:08 PM   
UTB


Posts: 9553
Joined: 30/9/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Hardcore Raver

I think it's important to understand the clubbing culture of the time in order to really analyse the film.


Agreed.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mister Coe


My verdict? Had a bloody good time.





Same here

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Post #: 21
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 4/1/2014 8:36:08 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3828
Joined: 19/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Mister Coe

I can honestly say that pretty much all my friends have done drugs at one point or another. It might have been a brief, experimental thing or it might have been a period of prolonged use...

Not one of them has ever been truly fucked up at any point. They did a bit of this, that or the other, and then they moved on...

On my part? I've done dope, mushrooms, acid, speed and E. Never got into anything harder because, you know, I enjoyed doing drugs but I had some fucking SENSE...

My verdict? Had a bloody good time.

I almost never touch drugs nowadays... I share the odd spliff once in a while. Big deal.

And I say this whilst watching Saturday-night fuckwits pour hard and cheap drinks down their stupid throats until they are desperate to fight or rape or piss in the streets..?

Alcohol is the big fucker-upper in society nowadays. IMO, anyway, feel free to shoot me down on this one...







THIS 100%. Especially underlined part. Except I still dabble a few times a year at festivals.

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Post #: 22
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 4/1/2014 10:13:03 AM   
sanchia


Posts: 18011
Joined: 3/1/2006
From: Norwich

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cool Breeze

Only idiots do drugs.


Say that to Timothy Leary (although a seance may be required to do that).

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Post #: 23
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 4/1/2014 10:30:47 AM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 3945
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
An interesting discussion here, occasionally marred by ignorant folk attempting to take a misguided notion of the moral high ground.

If you're looking to expand your research in terms of films, I'd recommend checking out Drugstore Cowboy, La Haine & Twin Town.



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RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 4/1/2014 10:36:02 AM   
superdan


Posts: 8054
Joined: 31/7/2008

quote:

ORIGINAL: Qwerty Norris

An interesting discussion here, occasionally marred by ignorant folk attempting to take a misguided notion of the moral high ground.

If you're looking to expand your research in terms of films, I'd recommend checking out Drugstore Cowboy, La Haine & Twin Town.




Or Requiem For A Dream

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Post #: 25
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 4/1/2014 10:38:58 AM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 3945
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh

quote:

ORIGINAL: superdan


quote:

ORIGINAL: Qwerty Norris

An interesting discussion here, occasionally marred by ignorant folk attempting to take a misguided notion of the moral high ground.

If you're looking to expand your research in terms of films, I'd recommend checking out Drugstore Cowboy, La Haine & Twin Town.




Or Requiem For A Dream



Yeah that's a decent shout, although it is the cinematic equivalent of someone screaming "DRUGS ARE BAD" for 100 minutes.

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1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

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Post #: 26
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 5/1/2014 5:37:36 PM   
sandy666

 

Posts: 46
Joined: 29/4/2009
Human Traffic shows how drugs were part of a social scene, and towards the end the main character (forget the name) stops taking them because he's not enjoying them anymore. He's resolved his sexual anxiety and wants something else from life and decides to move away from them. Not an unusual decision. The "unit" they are in is a form of youth/clubbing culture that was around at the time. Folk into dance culture took E and LSD has a slight resurgence because it was cheaper than E (at the time), metal heads drank booze.

The characters in HT are mostly young - they are moving from education into jobs and there is a lot of experimentation. Certainly it is how I remember mid late teens/early twenties. Some of my friends experimented with drugs, some with alcohol and almost everyone with sex and different lifestyles. There was an attitude that drugs laws were unjust, and the were by and large ignored. Those who didn't want to take drugs, did not report those that took them to the police.

Financially the characters don't have a lot of money because of their age. In addition in the early 90's there was a recession which meant a lot of young people were unsure about their future prospects. So in HT, the characters do not have fulfilled lives, but part of that is because they haven't yet worked out how they want to fulfil them. In addition HT is about a week-ender, it doesn't cover addiction - the characters are recreational users - not addicts. HT reflects a youth culture from the post-Thatcher nineties.

Trainspotting is a bit more complex. The characters are older than in HT, the events happen in Thatcher's 80's and the drug users are committed addicts. Their drug use isn't recreational, but a way of life. Trainspotting is giving us an addict's perspective on heroin and shows the effects of drugs. Yet again, Renton decides to move away from Heroin at the end. There are contrasts too- Bedgie, the psycho does not touch illegal drugs, but drinks alcohol, a legal drug, and he is the one who does most harm to other people in the film. Tommy has a job, but takes Heroin and becomes and addict and the consequences for him are very bad. So the film shows that it isn't always poor people who become addicts or victims. The number of addicts getting HIV in Edinburgh happened. SO Trainspotting blends fiction with real life events. It shows how heroin addicts maintain themselves and how unpleasant addiction is. The consequences are poverty and poor health. I think the characters choose drugs because the options offered to them are not attractive to them. There were a lot of economic problems in the UK and to many young people the YTS schemes at the time were regarded as poor value. So these characters chose drugs instead of employment because the jobs on offer were not "worthwhile".

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Post #: 27
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 6/1/2014 3:20:26 PM   
Onlythebassist


Posts: 31
Joined: 28/12/2013

quote:

ORIGINAL: Qwerty Norris

I'd recommend checking out Drugstore Cowboy, La Haine & Twin Town.


La Haine is a good shout - more to do with how drugs keep the populations of the banlieues rooted in a downward spiral of crime. I mean Hubert also has a family and his friends Saïd and Vinz to look out for, but his weed use is a false means of escape. You then have Asterix, who has completely reverted into the ways of the banlieues in the high-end Parisian flat. He represents that even when the residents are given better conditions, there is no guarantee they will take good advantage and better their situation.

And finally, you have the sense of community through drugs on the rooftop with Hubert, Vinz and Saïd. Whereas all of them are in a depressing, bleak landscape with minimal aspirations, they are connected by their equally f-ed up circumstances (another slight consideration being the racial demographic of the banlieues is mostly ethnic minorities. Officially Saïd, Hubert and Vinz shouldn't be friends, but are UNITED by crappy conditions).

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RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 14/1/2014 6:39:11 AM   
benny the jet


Posts: 2418
Joined: 27/8/2008
From: Over there
I bet the OP will do their own homework in the future.

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Post #: 29
RE: drug users subject to urban poverty - 17/1/2014 1:55:30 PM   
sharkboy


Posts: 6274
Joined: 26/9/2005
From: Belfast
I know you have highlighted certain movies, but you could do a lot worse than look to The Wire for an in-depth examination of drugs, the "war on drugs" and the impact on social deprivation. You've got the users like Bubbles who will be anyone's friend for a fix, even 5-0. You've got the dealers, and what they'll do to make sure the demand remains (like giving out free samples of new product to addicts. You've got the cops, who realise that all their work makes no difference to the situation and when one does try a radical new approach he gets crucified. Then you've got the legacy - the kids being failed by their druggie parents, the city, the education system and the cops.


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