Made on a shoestring budget but with huge dedication and imagination, Late Night Shopping
is the kind of independent cinema that Britain has excelled at in recent years. Based upon the lives of four young people who frequent after hours Glasgow, this is far removed from the nihilistic Trainspotting
school of film making, instead offering a warm, uplifting view of urban life. On the face of it, the characters simply meet up during their dead-end, night shift jobs, to ease the boredom. Gradually, however, a bond develops that goes deeper than any of them might have suspected.
Given that most of the film takes place at night, the mood is intimate and sparse, before the characters make a literal and metaphorical journey into the light. The interplay between the four (Lance, Ashfield, Clienti and Von Wolfson) is superb and it is their relationship that carries Late Night Shopping to its heart-warming conclusion. Along the way there is some lovely humour, as well as moments of real drama. Quirky enough without ever heading down some cultist cul-de-sac, this is a must for fans of well-crafted bold cinema.
On the DVD: Late Night Shopping's disc has some real thought gone into it. There is an excellent documentary feature on the making of the movie, although the interview and on location segments do seem to simply repeat the material in less engaging form. Best of all is the commentary from director Saul Metzstein and writer Jack Lothan, who take us on a tour of the perils of making a film for comparatively little money. Their dialogue is both witty and informative and cannot disguise the pride they have in their finished product, as well they might. --Phil Udell
Brit flick looking at the lives and loves of four young nightshift workers in present-day Glasgow. Sean (Luke de Woolfson) works as a porter in a hospital; Vincent (James Lance) stacks shelves in a supermarket; Jody (Kate Ashfield) is an assembly line worker; and Lenny (Enzo Cilenti) is employed in a call centre. The four of them meet up regularly in an all-night cafe, but things become more complicated when their love lives intertwine.