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Film / Human Traffic

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The weekend has landed.

Human Traffic is a 1999 British-Irish independent film directed by Justin Kerrigan that explores English clubbing and drug culture from the perspective of a group of friends over a weekend in Cardiff, Wales.

Contains examples of:

  • Artistic Title: The opening credits of the film intercuts simple title cards for the cast and crew with footage of the 1994 anti-Criminal Justice and Public Order Act protest and riots.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: The gang arrive at the club, the Asylum, but are unfortunately one ticket short. So Jip bullshits his way into the club by meeting with the owner, Pablo Hassan, and pretending to be a Mixmag journalist wanting to write an article on the club. And it works.
  • Beta Couple: Koop and Nina, who are an established couple to Jip and Lulu's Will They or Won't They? (albeit experiencing some difficulties in their relationship).
  • Binge Montage: The film has at least one of these.
  • The Cameo: Several English music celebrities have cameos in this film.
    • DJ Carl Cox as Pablo Hassan.
    • DJ Mad Doctor X can be seen in the background of the record shop scene.
    • Former cannabis smuggler turned author and motivational speaker Howard Marks as the host and narrator of the "Spliff Politics" scene.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: For most of the film, Jip is suffering from sexual anxiety due a string of failed liaisons.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Jip and Lulu have sex (which helps Jip get over his sexual hangups) and have begun a romantic relationship at the end of the film.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To Trainspotting; both feature groups of friends immersed in the UK drugs & clubbing culture in the 1990s, but where Trainspotting is more grimy and serious in its approach, Human Traffic is more light-hearted.
  • Take This Job and Shove It: Nina quits her job because she's tired of being sexually harassed by her manager (who is portrayed to be both figuratively and literally greasy).
  • Visual Pun: When Lulu and her friend are talking with a couple of obnoxious fellow students, who have just returned from a trip to Amsterdam, the camera occasionally cuts to the two men replaced with two literal bare arses.