Human Traffic  [DVD]
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The real story of youth in the nineties is this: chemicals, clubs, bars, pubs, mobile phones, trainers, combats, care-less, monged, mashed, sorted, safe.
Five best friends, 48 hours and a bucketload of ecstasy pills make for an enjoyably lightweight slice of pop-cultural ephemera from debut director Justin Kerrigan. Cardiff is the city, and hardcore partying, clubbing and pubbing is on the menu as Jip (John Simm) and his renegade band of McJobbers clock off and head out for a weekend of debauchery. Among Jip's hedonistic posse are the cheeky cockney drug-dealer Moff (Danny Dyer), the terminally jealous boyfriend Koop (Shaun Parkes) and the bad-boy magnet Lulu (Lorraine Pilkington).
And that's pretty much it. Our heroes meet in a pub, get drunk, take drugs, go to a club, then to a party, then home and then meet up in another pub, just in time for the closing credits. Along the way there's a shamefully lethargic attempt to establish character back-story: Jip is temporarily sexually impotent because his mother's a prostitute; Koop's father is institutionalised; Lulu has nasty boyfriends; and Moff has conservative parents. But generally Human Traffic is happier at the heart of the party, celebrating the intoxication of club culture--which it does in style. Kerrigan pulls out all the formal stops with an energetic melange of jump cuts, slo-mo, and speeded-up "smudge" motion camerawork. There's also direct addresses to camera, fantasy sequences and some self-conscious cameos from DJ Carl Cox and former-drug dealer Howard Marks, author of Mr Nice. Wall-to-wall music from the likes of Fatboy Slim, William Orbit and even Primal Scream help paste over the occasional cracks in the veneer, which include some particularly duff lines ("We're gonna get more spaced than Neil Armstrong ever did!") and a drawn analysis of drug references in Star Wars, a nod to the films of Kevin Smith, such as Clerks, Mallrats and Chasing Amy. And if the whole project already feels dated and empty, well that's because it perfectly captures an essentially 1990s moment, and one gloriously empty weekend. --Kevin MaherSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The music has you out of your seat and in your own virtual club whilst the characters (who are so different from each other in their background culture but are brought to the same level by E's and their love of music) make you want to join them in the film.
I actually watched this film twice in one night because of the music and now I'm awaiting the soundtrack CD, which i hope won't disappoint me..
Quite simply, buy this film for the music, buy it for the culture and buy it for the sheer enjoyment it will provide you with.
A capricious and energetic, rave-flavored tour through a bouncy Friday-Saturday-Sunday of dance and romance in the lives of five club-hopping pals on the cusp of their 20s, this lightweight snapshot of edgy Y2K youth culture has nothing new to say about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll -- but it says that nothing with irresistibly enthusiastic effervescence.
The story is narrated with hyperactive chirp by Jip (John Simms), a soft-featured Tim Roth look-alike who blows off steam from his weekdays in retail hell by getting squiffy with his mates and dancing the night away.
His entourage includes his best gal pal Lulu (Lorraine Pilkington), a tangy "full-on club minx" with a mane of out-of-control curls and a secret jones for Jip; aimless stoner Moff (Danny Dyer); African-Anglo Koop (Shaun Parkes), a spastic record store DJ with a jealous streak; and Koop's flirty girlfriend Nina (Nicola Reynolds), who bolts from her McJob in a fantasy-embellished early scene that sets the movie's anti-establishment mood.
Written and directed by 25-year-old Justin Kerrigan, a recent Welsh film school grad who has won a handful of festival awards, "Human Traffic" accompanies this group from their day jobs (hate them!) through their club-hopping nights in a style that apes from a dozen sources (notably, "Trainspotting" and early MTV) without feeling unoriginal.Read more ›
Not much in the way of features. A 'making of' documentary, a couple of short films from his student days & some more deleted scenes. My favourite is the car journey. Its only trivial, but they are driving along and the tape jams in the cassette player. A total, chemically induced, over the top reaction follows, threatening the interruption of the buzz! Only one thing you can do in that situation.. Sing up! It might be lost on some people but others will know what I mean. Its this attention to detail that makes the film special.
I'm totally convinced that Justin Kerrigan was part of the scene, as you don't get such close parallels without living it for real. If anything the acting is a little too good, right down to the dilated pupils. I think the cast really did their homework on this. In fact may still have been doing it whilst filming... Only kidding ;)
Energetic first half, with a blinding soundtrack. System F - Out of the Blue, remains my favourite dance track of all time. A slower more uncomfortable feel to the second half, maybe to balance the equation, albeit light-heartedly & show us that ecstasy isn't all empathy n skittles.
I think it's a pretty fine debut from Kerrigan, who clearly put a lot of effort into this. It makes me a little sad when I hear stories about it being locked in distribution battles & burning him out before he's even begun. Maybe that's why we haven't heard anything from him since? Shame, as he clearly has talent.
We risk sanity
for moments of temporary enlightenment.Read more ›
If you liked GO! and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas you'll LOVE Human Traffic. This movie will leave a huge grin on your face and have you chuckling for a long, long time!
For all the E fiends as myself this is the flick to check! Nice one BRUVVA! i said nice one!
A key element to the films subject matter is one that the tabloid press have devoted endless headlines to and demonised the use of. That is, the use of 'Ecstasy', a drug which has developed a close bond with the dance music scene since the mid 90's.
Produced by Justin Kerrigan, the film follows 5 friends on a typical weekend out in Cardiff, though the setting could be any town or city in the country. The sense of build up to the up comming night out is portrayed in manner that will be instantly recognised to many.... but will hit a note more directly to those who have experienced similar euphoric feelings!
The cast assembled by Kerrigan give a true realism that comes with an understanding of the factors that acompany the dance music scene. So much so that the film could never have worked with actors who hadn't experienced first hand the highs - and lows - of a sub-culture that has been felt by a whole generation and beyond.
John Simm, Danny Dyer and Co., with the help of a soundtrack that makes the spine tingle, combine to produce a masterpiece of cinematography which neither glorifies nor condemns the use of any drug, regardless of classification.
Society will always have drugs and have those prepared to 'experiment'.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Received item this morning and happy with the service and would use againPublished 2 months ago by Amanda
This is one of the best rave inspired films ever. Really does remind me of my younger days. So funny at times but it's all about getting the weekend buzz just right. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mr. S. Mclaughlin
Cannot believe I have h=never seen this amazing portrayal of the club scene in the ninetiesPublished 4 months ago by Karen L Petrie