June 23, 2021

Midweek Mention... Human Traffic

Midweek Mention... Human Traffic
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Justin Kerrigan's HUMAN TRAFFIC is an exploration of a particular late 90's youth culture: the living for the weekend chemical generation whose hedonism was centred around drug taking and pounding basslines in the super clubs of the day. The ridiculously named Jip, Lulu, Koop, Moff and Nina are a a group of wage slave 20 somethings brashly sticking two fingers up to the establishment and embracing all aspects of rave and clubbing culture whilst simultaneously negotiating Monday's come down and erectile dysfunction. Some excellent performances from the ensemble cast, coupled with cameos from some of the biggest proponents of the drug and music scenes as well as Danny Dyer in his debut role playing Danny Dyer. But is it all a bit dated and naff?


Human Traffic


Sidey:Dan you nominated a midweek for us

Dan:was a film called human traffic You remember that one

Sidey:I remember it And I rewatched it

Dan:Okay Were you all in on that Were there any non Watchers

Pete:No I've I've seen it plenty of times before I know rewatched it


Dan:So if people hadn't seen it before picture there the Cardiff club scene of the nineties where we've got a group of friends G Lou Lou coupe Nina and morph

Reegs:Jesus I mean honestly JIP

Dan:it was that


Reegs:yeah I know JIP Lou Lou morph

Sidey:You're not taking the names


Dan:Okay well you know they're young they're happening they've got nicknames and they enjoy their job which really kind of you know working in the Footlocker or or working at McDonald's or some such thing So they can escape and party on a weekend There's drink drugs and sex They live for the weekends and we joined them on like this paranoid emotional up and down adventure as they Go clubbing and just party for the weekend  living without limits as much as they can I watched this when it first came out without knowing anything about it It's just one of those films that came on It it kind of brought in Danny Dyer

Reegs:Well this was his debut

Dan:Into our

Sidey:team like a little kid

Reegs:yeah but he was playing Danny Dyer as he has successfully for the rest of his career

Pete:He's he's actually really good at playing Danny Dyer If you look through all of his films

Reegs:He perfected it straight away Yeah

Dan:he did that You could see that 

Reegs:and back when here you didn't know Danny Dyer was a prick especially the first time that you watched it So it was just funny

Pete:The thing is in this film he's actually really endearing Like you really are

Sidey:I I

Pete:I sort of remember watching it again remember how I felt watching it And all I saw was like this this funny character like little bit lost once you know he's like a small time dealer He wants to impress his mates You know he's into the birds without necessarily being having any luck with any birds That's

Reegs:No He calls out Peter Andre at one point

Pete:yeah he yeah he he has a real like a really funny sort of skit in the back of a taxi where he's fucked Just chatting mints I thought about you guys I've had those conversations in the backs of

Dan:Travis pickle in the in the cab when you're asking the cab driver

Pete:specifically that well it topic or whatever but those kind of like you know charged conversations with a taxi driver chatting absolute minutes like he's my absolute best

Dan:So what's really good about this film which I enjoyed is how you get to know the characters You you learn them through these little skits and these you know this is morph this is JIP This is what they did They said And you you learn a little bit about their lives

 As they get together On their on their day jobs And then in the evenings the one with John SIM who who's in this as well who's fantastic is he's getting fucked up the ass is money stuffed into his mouth by his boss

Reegs:Voice sort of pieces to camera from each of the individual characters And then they go off on these flights of fancy that sort of exaggerate And they're quite a sort of cynical bunch they're against the sort of corporate structures They're just the chemical generation and they're living like you said earlier they're living for the weekend They're sort of they've got no work ethic really And you know they're just they're just hedonistic in the moment and that's it And I I was at university but I was absolutely bang into this scene for about two years So watching it was

Dan:back a little bit And you're why they if they put in half the amount of effort into their partying as they did into their work lives and things like that they'd probably have a lot more success and and things but they don't give a shit about that It's all

Pete:But that's what that part of your life is for It's like you know really You're going to mess up If you're going to choke yourself into tuck yourself into a career fully at that age then you're going to miss out on a lot of you're still growing up 1920s late teens early

Dan:missing out on all this bullshit and the and the fun that they had and then the the parties And as this goes through the We get into the Friday night and getting ready to go out All the little stories of can't

Reegs:well he's a guy

Dan:got a ticket Is anybody got you know that kind of thing

Reegs:the guy who's dropping for the first time the guy who's S like the sort of casual acquaintance that's basically become an enemy just because you see them everywhere and that you have to have the conversations with them that you know you both just wanted to say look fuck off Now

Pete:this film honestly I've And I've said it on on this pod before when I've referenced it I think maybe in the top five or something it's almost like it's it basically I lived this film like for it for a spell

Dan:your mama prostitute You used to go and see before you went out

Pete:Yeah that was


Pete:a little bit close to home at times but no but I can distinctly remember like that of you know the nineties exactly That living for the weekend I can distinctly remember that individual for me I know who it is and I'll see him every now and again in town And he was that guy that I felt compelled to talk to because he was like a mate of a mate And I didn't really like him but he was always there he definitely became my best friend for an evening But after that it was you know not my cup of tea

Reegs:This story is quite meandering because it is really just the story of a of a Friday night and a bunch of people I mean you've got It is Yeah So you've got JP is a well he's got erectile dysfunction law

Pete:got a Mr Floppy T-shirt

Reegs:yeah I mean he's taking lots of ecstasy so of course he can't get you know I mean if you can get it up here it'll stay up forever But yeah Is this too

Pete:Are you speaking are you speaking from experience

Reegs:Yeah But you know you have to work very hard to get there

Pete:it's more the psychological element of it The fact that you know every time there's

Reegs:but just stop taking ecstasy for a little

Pete:Okay But this there's some really like funny like ways of dealing with it you know it it flashes back to some like encounters that you've had this the really awkward scene at the beginning with the girl

Sidey:he says I failed the physical with her and then he's got a server at the counselor with the fellow there And it's just like

Dan:it goes back to all these modes of paranoia as well not just with him but with his friends as well Who's got an obsession with guys talking to his girlfriend and then all these people's insecurities which are probably compounded by the drugs in the way that they're living in everything it's on it's on but the way that the director takes us in to to watch these moments and and how we addresses them I think is really good So it's you're laughing your head



Reegs:part of the scene right

Pete:it's probably fair to say that this guy is speaking from experience Cause he's I didn't know much about this director but he is in the film He he plays a few parts in the film He's like one of the guys that goes into the shop Yeah

Reegs:gets the jungle

Pete:the for the you know have you got any jungle

Reegs:He says to him they're all on death row or something

Pete:oh right Yeah no yeah yeah

Sidey:that's not

Pete:director That guy it's it's yeah It's it's the two that yeah for some reason I don't they don't really well they kind of like slide up to the up to the counter and ours and I can't make it sound like you got any drummer bass in man that was or jungle in mat or whatever and then coops it Yeah I've got the Tarzan of jungle Just swung it on the vine this morning


And then and then they just have this like it's about 20 30 seconds of like a a chunky jungle tune And he's one of the dancers He he he's in the club as well later on He's also in the car Yeah So this is a guy and you can just tell by the look of it and this is a guy who's like it part of that scene part of that rave culture and is and has lived through these through these nights he's had a million of them himself and what you were talking about there with the You know like the the paranoia against the euphoria the I mean it it never never a true sentence than what goes up must come down which they referenced in the film and it deals with all of those things like the ying and the yang of the of the whole

Dan:on a big party weekend

Reegs:Well it's just a really accurate like slice of nineties like youth counter-culture and it's so amazingly observed that it's instantly I think completely dated Like I think you know it feels kind of old even though I was there it feels like

Dan:Well the the night's out because I still see some of the themes being very relevant but certainly like the clothes the music and things You've got cold

Reegs:Well it's just the way they were talking to each other Yeah


Dan:in at one point which a lot of people would know now but at the time Howard marks was I know it just had his book out and things like that Mr Nice in everybody knew who he was and so this would have really hit you know that Brit pop kind of time or or just beyond that just after that way And there all these club culture and and things goes on certainly happening around the same time where all of these cultural references were It would have died a little bit now because we're 25 years down the line aren't we

Reegs:but it was so fiercely of the time as well like in everything of how it was done the attitude behind it all that you know very late nineties

Sidey:Based around the music scene of the time So if you're going to completely focus on that music which has does then you are it is a time capsule of course

Reegs:And the soundtrack is amazing

Sidey:really good but this is really gyp story He is the most fleshed out character in the movie We you mentioned it before but he takes a trip back to see his mum Cause he doesn't want to see her the day after going out She's got a gentlemen cooler upstairs It's fucking really barren Like without being blunt she's an older lady but she's still having to

Dan:turn a trick

Sidey:do a few tricks and she pops down to see him and she says she says just hang around I've got someone that says they'd only be five minutes and you think oh man And then she said Sam happy staff to some chocolates that obviously this guy's Yeah Oh man this is just too much

Dan:box of chocolates and


Pete:I think you know it also towards the end with like Morphin his parents it also has the snapshot of this The the you know as as will be the same in every generation like the parents kind of misunderstanding of that culture like the the dads going on about how they're all like that they're all like Junky deadbeat like scumbag arseholes when when actually it's kind of fairly not mainstream there is still sort of because obviously it's like illegal recreational drugs and so on but there was a lot of people involved in that scene and still to this day And it wasn't about being scumbags or being deadbeats or drop it Exploration and and finding yourself and going through a journey of you know of having great nights and dealing with the fall-outs from them so that you can find a bit of a rhythm in terms of your personality and where you want to go in life It's the sort of thing You know we're all dads We obviously don't want our kids to to to do things that are going to put themselves in in significant danger So there's there's this difficult difficulty in sort of like endorsing the message or whatever in this film but it's certainly something that you want your your kids they're got to grow up grow up in And the more you demonize all of these things the more that they'll probably be tempted to go out and try or

Dan:Danny Dyer's character did His dad was a copper I think wasn't he in this and he's got going out and he's actually becomes the dealer with a group Doesn't he He's the one that is able to get

Reegs:really the dealer

Pete:a small time

Dan:an out his mate see somebody that sorts out his mates but then what

Pete:He's the one that doesn't have a job He's a he doesn't have a job So he makes his pennies for his tickets for the weekend and stuff by no knock it out a bit of weed or whatever but he's also interestingly the one that at the end of the day Is having that iconic kind of like I'm never doing this again because obviously at that point there is you know it has come down it's fully kicked in so he's never doing it again He's broken he's in little pieces and yeah

Sidey:I like the scene where him and his Mate that he's just I've probably just met at that party They discussing star wars I mean he he says this line about the you know the dark side I can't remember what it was

Dan:a galaxy

Sidey:as Yoda Yoda is

Pete:outer space whereas

Sidey:exploring his inner space and then he just goes oh like he's had this epiphany about star wars and his mind is completely blown He's he's good at this He you know he's never played any other character since but you know I did enjoy him in this

Reegs:the exchange that Andrew Lincoln who's the annoying mate has with somebody else where they're both coming up on pills and he walks over and one of them says oh safe as fuck And he says what's your name at the same time They're just off on to they're having a conversation but they're going to

Dan:Fuck Yeah

Reegs:And then they're just have two completely different directions It's really well observed like that This was strange watching this movie for me because I was so much a part of that culture But the movie itself is there's not a lot of like character development particularly over the course of it or there's not huge emotional

Dan:say it though Cause I did read sorry that they're gonna be thinking of a sequel coming up to this So those same

Sidey:he says he's got it ready to go but I don't know that it will ever happen They did they did a rehash version of it I think it was called human traffic remixed  He had nothing to do with it and to the stars or or well John Sam especially tied us back to it It would have nothing to do with it there was some extra footage that they added in and changed

Dan:right Okay Now from what I read he wants to do it again properly with the revisit in this same characters same actors but years down the line So maybe a little bit

Sidey:he didn't make a penny out of this though That's probably part of the reason why he wants to do the C Corps It probably feels I would a few

Dan:Oh really

Sidey:I think there was a bit of a balls up and he signed some rights over and it was a bit of a fuck up So whilst it was fairly successful it wasn't for him

Reegs:They remade it Didn't they for the Americans as well

Pete:Oh did they

Reegs:think so Yeah

Pete:were the American like So-so a total American remake

Sidey:no this but they some of the slang terms that they over they just had to dub it because they just wouldn't get it It just wouldn't I don't think any of it would really fly in America

Reegs:but it was so British

Pete:I remember what you said about Trainspotting in the iconic poster This is exactly the same that you know human traffic posters start there You immediately think of the case Like the the either the case I had the soundtrack on CD I probably I've never really owned many DVDs in my life but this was one that I did own So you immediately think of it like the front cover or the poster as like a an iconic nineties British film

Reegs:And the soundtrack is really good you've got CJ Bolland on there You've got Fatboy slim build it up tear it down from the brilliant you've come a long way baby which had right here right now Rockefeller skank gangster tripping and praise you all on the same album which is pretty good at the time you've got Jacknife Lee you've got public enemy in this You've got Dillinger and DC death in Vegas underworld primal scream future Turner London off the dead cities album Unbelievable soundtrack I've been listening to it all week it's not the house scene that they were particularly part of Wasn't actually the one that I I was more into drum and bass back in these days

Pete:I think you'll find that So

Reegs:I had these mental baggy

Pete:head and always have you know the the the the nineties you know it was like

Reegs:what the trials is They were fucking enormous Like and I had like these spikes in my hair and these fucking like goggles like welders what a prick honestly what a

Pete:per year No I never I never looked that much of a prick but I do I know I've said this I've said this before in referencing this film if anybody you know who's who's sort of like you know oh well what was what was it like when you were 20 or something Oh go just go and watch the film human traffic And then that's that's literally yeah

Dan:likable character

Sidey:Yup Very much So I think yeah We said everyone hate their job Think coop was actually on a on a winner with his job He enjoyed his job as a vinyl hustler It was just like doing it He had obviously ambitions to be a DJ but he was shy It was he says just lots of fantasy

Reegs:did that They do a whole scene where he says you can't consider yourself a DJ unless you can scratch And then he's doing it looks like he's doing all this mental scratching and all this stuff And then it just really reveals He's just playing a record So yeah

Dan:yeah You can't do it And you know there are there were countless of scenes that will give you a laugh here Morph gets caught wine kin doesn't he

Reegs:cameos as well Pete Encore Cox co I need to say Karl Marx Howard marks like you said before

Dan:Joe Brandon as well Yeah there there was a bit of language you know for anybody considering showing this to their kids um they might wanna they might know it's not a kid's film You

Sidey:I mean the drug the drug references probably not great for the kids either

Dan:Fox in cancer in it counted them so

Pete:more than this

Reegs:it really captures that kind of that that feeling of like alienation from another generation because right Artist in this time young people understanding this culture and it really captures that moment

Sidey:But loving it when it came out and watching it now he's still still down with it

Reegs:Well I enjoyed it as a film but I found it quite abrasive in many ways Like the characters are quite you know their attitude is a bit like oh fucking shut up about banging on about your drugs and going out on the you know just shut up It's really not that important I enjoyed it but all your relationships right Like superficial nobody develops over it So and I look back at that point in my life and I think that was a fairly superficial point of my life where I did just in in stuff and didn't do anything else and it's right It's the right time you know it was like when they showed the bill Hicks bit and he's like oh yeah guy did drugs and had fun You know it's like that was what it was for a bit

Pete:Yeah Yeah

Dan:Yeah It still stood up for me There there was still plenty enough to make me laugh I you know of course any film that's 20, 25 years down the line and you've seen those actors in other things as well there's a little bit if something weird when watching it back but no I I still laughed at this and I I would still as Pete said if you're wondering maybe what bad dads and people of our generation were getting up to when they're 20 this isn't far off the mark

Pete:for me I've watched this countless times and I'll watch it again At some point I will not going to watch it again now for a good few years or whatever probably would be the sort of thing that when you know the kids are older you know and they say if they ever come to me and say well what sort of you know what film would you recommend from like back in the nineties or whatever that'll sound that will be like

Reegs:I might feel a bit embarrassed though to put that on because it's so

Pete:with daughters It's

Reegs:like oh it's a bit cringey I did enjoy revisiting it And it's a funny film but it's cringing looking back and going God I would sit Like

Dan:because it is a bit too honest Yeah That's it

Pete:if I if I were you I'd be more cringy about like the the horns and the goggles that you were talking about Like that's that's worse than anything in this film

Sidey:I it's a yeah it's a weird one because I wasn't part of the scene at all I didn't like the music I wasn't part of it I was just into guitars and stuff like that So yeah weirdly I still really enjoyed the film then and I enjoyed watching it again now probably a glimpse into stuff that I probably missed out on when I was younger but Yeah I enjoyed it Some of it I don't really like all the to camera stuff especially when they sing to the camera I found that fucking really

Pete:Yeah I know


Sidey:Like I couldn't live without that but the rest of it Yeah I was into it It's good