Film Screening 10th March, 2001

Poster for Human Traffic

Human Traffic 

8:00 PM, 10th March, 2001

  • R
  • 99 mins
  • 1999
  • Justin Kerrigan
  • Justin Kerrigan
  • John Simm, Lorraine Pilkington, Shaun Parkes, Danny Dyer, Nicola Reynolds

It's Friday afternoon in Cardiff, and a group of friends, headed up by Jip (Simm), are wasting their time in their dead-end jobs and watching the clock for the weekend. There's also Koop (Parkes), insanely jealous of his girlfriend Nina (Reynolds); love interest Lulu (Pilkington), who's just dumped her tool of a boyfriend; and Moff (Dyer). From here the film follows the group in a pseudo-documentary style through the partying haze of drugs, dance, and alcohol that is their weekend. Some of what we see is hilarious, as the movie jumps from skit to skit. Overall though, there is something lacking. It doesn't have the depth of Trainspotting, or the kooky fun of Dazed and Confused. Perhaps director Kerrigan, only 25 himself, deliberately wanted to make no comment on the drug issue, preferring to leave the decision to the viewer. In any case, the film lacks the edge of other, similar films.

With that said, this film is enjoyable((mdash))a great electronica/dance soundtrack, some good performances, and some hilarious scenes. But it lacks a certain emotional undercurrent, and while the characters are likable, it is frustrating to see them in the self-destructive cycle from which the film gives no hope of escape. Or maybe I'm just getting old. Oh well, at least I didn't complain about the loud, newfangled music.

Pedr Cain

Poster for Rififi


9:49 PM, 10th March, 2001

  • PG
  • 115 mins
  • 1954
  • Jules Dassin
  • Jules Dassin, Auguste Le Breton, Rene Wheeler
  • Jean Servias, Carl Mohner, Robert Manuel, Jules Dassin

Rififi is about a quartet of thieves, one of whom has just been released from prison, who plan the robbery of a jewellery store. The film is justly famous for the 20-minute heist sequence that is meticulously filmed with no dialogue. The word rififi is French underworld slang for trouble, and this is reflected as complications arise when the thieves find each other more dangerous than the police and their plans become unstuck. The film dates a little with its condescending attitude toward women, but is a gritty depiction of rather sordid characters. American director Jules Dassin escaped the shadow of McCarthyism by going to Europe and reestablishing his career there. He later directed that other famous jewel-heist film, Topkapi, which was almost a remake. The film has influenced practically every heist film since then from Gambit, The Thomas Crown Affair, and The Italian Job to Entrapment and Reservoir Dogs. There was even a scene in Mission: Impossible that was lifted from Rififi.

Tony Fidanza