An easy way to capture the audience's attention from the get-go is to use a popular song, and while this can often feel cheap or lazy when it's employed as a crutch to elevate mediocre material, in the case of Danny Boyle's Trainspotting that couldn't be further from the truth.
Boyle's masterful 1996 black comedy slams into gear with the opening drum beat of Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life," serving as the soundtrack to the iconic "choose life" montage, where Renton (Ewan McGregor) and Spud (Ewen Bremner) pound the pavement while fleeing their pursuers down Edinburgh's Princes Street.
It's an image that's forever seared into the brain of anyone who's seen the film, but is literally just the beginning of a relentlessly energetic, darkly humourous drama that sustains its momentum all the way to the finish.
Renton's opening monologue, bluntly tapping the vein of mid-90s British "aspirationalism" while illustrating the hollowness of his own life, serves as a snappy introduction to Renton and his pals. It also confirms Boyle's penchant for kinetic filmmaking which has basically defined his career ever since.
It's truly staggering that such an entertaining film about the perils of drug addiction exists, and it all begins with those oddly seductive opening moments.