Human Traffic

DVD Rating: ****

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Read Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of Human Traffic
Human Traffic

They call the Special Edition "remixed". It has a different opening sequence and fresh graphics over the closing credits, with new music, also 10 additional scenes, some tiny. The result is a tight, perfectly formed DVD, with wicked rhythms and a sharper edit.

The Making Of featurette is one the best you're likely to see. As you would expect, there is no marketing hype, or banal star interviews. It shows 24-year-old Justin Kerrigan stressing out on set, trying to keep his actors from getting the giggles and arranging vast party/club scenes with wearing humour. The producer, Allan Niblo, explains that the movie cost £2.2million, "less than Trainspotting." It's one hell of an achievement. Things run less than smooth, as two First Assistants walk off during the making of the film. You feel on the edge of chaos, with a mutinous crew threatening to take to the life rafts. Kerrigan stays true to his vision. It took him five years after the idea of Human Traffic first came to him in Soho, London. "All I wanted," he says, "was to break a few stereotypes and do something different." Later, at Cannes, being interviewed over and over again, he must have realised that "different" can become fashionable.

Copy picture

The deleted scenes are fun, particularly the one they call, We Are Cardiff e. This has the four main characters, stoned and half pissed, driving through Cardiff at night, singing and messing around. There are many versions of this, each different and all hilarious. In fact, the one that ends up in the film is cut down and not half as funny. There is another series of scenes in which Jo Brand, wearing a wig, plays an agony aunt and individually the main four characters come and sit on a sofa in space and ask her personal, often sexual, questions. She does not appear in the final cut, although there is one moment when Danny Dyer, on the galactic sofa, asks a naff question and you hear her answer, but don't see her.

The small films by Justin Kerrigan and Allan Niblo are inventive comic gems. Pubroom Paranoia is a pastiche of a TV game show in the style of music hall, in which three contestants are chosen in a pub to find out who is the most paranoid. Boom Boom tells the sad but glorious tale of a washed up comic, played by Philip Jackson, on the tough club circuit, who comes to the rescue of an aging stripper when a drunk in the audience takes matters into his own hands. The shorts are expertly made and a real bonus to an exceptional DVD.

Even the pop promo, entitled The Weekend Has Landed, is a joy and the trailer's a classic.

It would be hard not to feel in the presence of anarchic wonderment, although "anarchy" is the wrong word. Change that to "inspirational".

Reviewed on: 23 Nov 2002
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Human Traffic packshot
The weekend is here and the ravers are wasted.
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Product Code: VCD0232

Region: 2

Ratio: 16:9 anamorphic wide

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Making Of featurette; Deleted scenes; Pubroom Paranoia, short film by the director; Boom Boom, short film by the producer; Pop promo; Trailer

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