When the film Adulthood was released in UK cinemas in June 2008, its opening weekend grossed more money than the freshly released Sex and the City. In the wake of its success, a spate of new and gritty urban films has been drawing audiences to cinemas in increasing numbers, with films such as Shank and Dead Man Running bringing new vigor to the UK film industry. Despite their success, though, the issue of black representation is never far away. With a panel debate titled “The New Blaxploitation?” taking place as a part of London’s Across the Street, Around the World festival, Best For Film went to investigate.
Considered by many to be the last great British film of the ’90s, Human Traffic is an endearingly honest depiction of a weekend in the lives of five pill-popping twentysomethings. Credited with launching the careers of John Simm (Life on Mars) and much-maligned ‘mockney’ Danny Dyer, Human Traffic manages to capture the zeitgeist of the rave scene to perfection.
A small-time crook is given a week to rustle up the money he owes to a serious big fish, or else his loved one gets it. It’s not exactly a premise of shocking originality, but Dead Man Running is a perfectly enjoyable beat-em-up ask-em-later romp that will satisfy those just looking for a bit of fun, innit gunva.