There are loads of good club, music and DJing documentaries around, but something happens when DJs and clubbing are used in films – almost invariably, the results suck.
The odd good scene here and there, sure (the opening blood bath scene in Blade, set to a Pump Panel remix of New Order’s “Confusion” springs to mind), but by and large clubs and movies don’t, ahem, mix. However, there are some exceptions to the rule, so today we thought we’d round up our five favourite club films of all time:
1. It’s All Gone Pete Tong (2004)
Set in party capital of the world Ibiza, the film tells the tale of musician-cum-DJ Frankie Wilde who loses his hearing through too many loud club gigs. It’s a comedy, it’s full of drugs, clubs and girls, in places it’s hallucinogenic and bizarre, and above all, it does a good job of capturing the hedonism of Ibiza (after it had gone mainstream, anyway).
If you’re wondering “It’s all gone Pete Tong” means “It’s all gone wrong”, something that definitely happens for poor Frankie. Cameos from Pete Tong himself, Paul Van Dyk and Carl Cox among others.
2. Go (1999)
Told from three different perspectives, this film tells the story of events after a botched drug deal in Vegas. Fast and furious and certainly feeling like a homage to Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction style, its story occurs after 3am, one night between Christmas and New Year.
Director Doug Liman was of course to go on and make The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, but for now we had a convincingly filmed strip club, a drug deal and a big slice of Las Vegas nightlife to keep us entertained, with a pretty awesome club soundtrack too.
3. 24-Hour Party People (2002)
I have a soft spot for this film as it’s set in my home city of Manchester, home of the acid house revolution in the north of England thanks to the Hacienda club, and I played a small part in its making. But by anyone’s calculation, though, this is a classic: irreverent, laugh-out-loud funny, and with a soundtrack and club scenes that hit the nail right on the head.
There’s a great performance from Steve Cougan as Tony Wilson, who set up Factory Records in 1976, and whose story it tells. Crucially it follows the old adage: Never let the truth get in the way of a good story…
4. Human Traffic (1999)
One of the few cult classic rave films to also achieve commercial success, Human Traffic documents the lives of a group of 20-somethings through a weekend out partying. Drug fuelled, it nonetheless pointedly doesn’t moralise, simply showing things as they are (were), and pinnigg itself to a wider social and political context thanks to its use of archive footage.
The club scenes are simply bang on, and the soundtrack is also both accurate for the time and sounding great today.
5. Kevin & Perry Go Large (2000)
Pure British comedy which is not to be taken seriously, and which couldn’t be more different from Human Traffic. It features comedian Harry Enfield as one of the two 15-year-old teenage boys who spend the whole film trying to become superstar DJs and lose their virginity, mostly in Ibiza – with their parents in tow.
It contains some convincing club scenes (set in Ibiza superclub Amnesia) and a genuinely good soundtrack featuring a who’s who of late 90s house and trance with a few classics thrown in there too.
What’s your favourite club or DJing film? What’s your favourite club scene from a film? Why are club scenes in films always so bad? Let us know in the comments!