revisiting Paul WS Anderson’s Shopping (1994)

One of the films opening lines ‘What has prison taught you Billy?’   ‘Don’t get caught’ replies Billy (played by Jude Law)

That simple exchange sums up the feeling of Paul WS Andersons directorial debut Shopping, which I remember blasting onto the screens in 1994 from Film Four International and Polygram.  Whilst the film does have a great mix of cast and characters, our main stars are Jo, played by Sadie Frost and Billy, played by Jude Law in his cinema debut.  as a couple of hang out together, get drunk together, and steal cards together.  

Its never clear what year this film is set, it feels near future, but doesn’t feel the need to use a title card to let us know what time period we are in. Shot with what seems like a small budget but using some neat tricks to make it look more expensive (a burning Porsche logo for one) Shopping was a cracking film on its release and is still a cracking film now. With a ear bleeding soundtrack featuring artists such as Utah Saints, Orbital, and EMF, as well as an orchestral score by Barrington Pheloung , its definitely a film to watch in the dark and with the speaker loud! 

Along for the ride with Sadie Frost and Jude Law are Sean Bean, Sean Pertwee,,in one of my favourite roles of his, Jonathan Pryce, Marianne Faithfull, Eamonn Walker, and Jason Isaacs (Hello!!)  Taking us into the world of street crime, joyriding, and general anarchy on the streets, Shopping is a film that I have revisited many times over the years and Id I let you know how many times I watched this film between my first cinema trip to see if in 1994,and perhaps the year 2000. It would rack up around 40 viewings (I had the movie poster on my wall for several years) Part of that Im sure was due to the reception the film got from the UK media who were worried that viewers of this troublesome film would someone decide to become joyriders and take over the world (for the record I never did, and never have) .  To this day I still periodically pop on the CD soundtrack just to shake the dust from my brain. 

Of course we all know the name Paul WS Anderson from the Resident Evil films, but if you haven’t seen his cinema directing debut. then do check it out! Head out for a little Crash and Carry!

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