Trainspotting, the “best British film of the decade”, arrived on 23 February 1996. Such were the expectations of the film (1996) that the face of its narrator-hero Renton (Ewan McGregor) appeared that month on the front cover of two influential London-based film magazines, Premiere and Sight and Sound. One year after its release, the film stands as both a critical and commercial success. The total Box Office receipts for Ireland, at IR £800 000 in the first 3 months, were comparable to a major Hollywood blockbuster. The film was still being screened 10 months later in Dublin's north inner city, the heartland of Dublin's heroin epidemic. Given its subject-matter, it is important to examine both the film itself, and its points of contact with the realities of drug addiction. In this respect, three questions suggest themselves: is the film showing anything new (representation), is it doing anything new (technique), and what is the film saying (ideology)?