I remember reading Filth back in, was it ‘95? It was around the time of BritPop anyway. It felt like Britain was having a ‘moment’. Notice I was careful to say Britain and not just England. No, thanks to Irvine Welsh (and I guess Travis to a degree - can you imagine?!) Scotland played a big part in Great Britain being hip again. Trainspotting blew up. It launched the careers of Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle and more and cemented Danny Boyle’s status as One To Watch after he debuted with Shallow Grave.
I was at boarding school when the book came out and I picked it up from the school bookshop one day after lunch. It took me a while to get into it because, well, I won’t ruin it, but the format of the book is weird and doesn’t make for an easy read. But once I did, I…I actually hated it. I hated the protagonist. But it was so compelling I had to keep reading more. A bit like American Psycho. You’re just kind of cringing the whole way through, sometimes have to skip bits because it all gets too much.
Then came the end and I was totally blindsided. Anyway suffice to say I loved the book. I’m not sure I would read it again - there are few books I can do that with. I also think that Filth worked for me at that age and that time in history. But now here, nearly 20 years later, we have the film.
How cool does the poster look? The trailer has that sense of dread about it too. I was worried about James McAvoy too but going by this trailer he looks like he’ll be perfect. The film just looks very wrong indeed which is exactly how it should be. Plus Jamie Bell is in it. Ah Jamie Bell.
Great Britain has been “cool” again for a while now thanks to One Direction and The Wanted, but now with Filth, we can get rid of those speech marks and make it official.