Analysis of Trainspoting
"Make a close analysis of a film segment you have viewed and describe
the use of mise-en-scene and editing."
I have chosen to analyse a small segment of the film "Trainspotting".
The particular scene I have chosen is called "Spuds Interview" and
shows a character (Spud) attempting to appear as if he is trying to
earn the placement at a leisure facility. The catch is he is trying to
appear to be trying without actually having to get the job and
therefore work. Spud appears to be drugged and his hyper-active,
exuberant personality which does a little more than simply shine
through shows. The most important aspect of this segment is the
mise-en-scene as it is this which gives the greatest effect.
The interview is set in a simple room. The room appears unfriendly and
un-welcoming as it has cold, bare dull yellow walls and a dark blue
carpet. Throughout the interview this carpet is seen as a simile for
the sea, it is a deep blue/ turquoise. This is because during the
interview we see Spud,in effect, drown as he is digging himself into a
deeper hole by lying and trying to outsmart the interviewers.
There is an escape for Spud from the blue carpet to a thick beige
border around the edge of the icy blue, however his seat is placed on
its own in the centre of "the sea". The interviewers however are
situated at the edge of the blue carpet in a "safe zone". This "zone"
becomes apparent when we see from Spuds eye looking to them, they are
close together as if there is strength in their numbers.
The whole interview is very impersonal, however the room introduces a
powerful image, a large mural on the wall of a beach and ocean; this
supports the fact that the carpet is seen as the sea, although the
mural actually helps Spud to answer a question later on in the
Interviewer What attracts you to the leisure industry?
(Spud looks at the mural on the wall for a few seconds the sits
upright as if an idea has come to him)
Spud PLEASURE! I mean, my pleasure, of peoples like leisure, like its
Although the answer is not the best, the safety the "wall" has
provided shows us that the idea of "the sea" works.
The mural is only seen by the viewers as they see the interviewers and
cannot be seen before that, the only background for Spud is the bare
wall, this suggests that he himself is stripped of ideas for his
answers to the questions he is presented with until the mural is seen
by the viewers and he is given ideas from the location he is in.
The characters are set up in a teacher to class style with the
interviewers at the top of the room with a large desk and Spud at the
bottom. This could also be compared with a courtroom set-up, in both
cases the way the characters are placed suggests authority to a child.