Looking for a stylish, black and white film about Soho and its denizens? Look no further than the new film, Soho Cigarette.
Showing at the East End Film Festival this Sunday, Soho Cigarette is a parable of a young, good-looking, cocky Italian man, D'Angelo, whose job is to take tourists on a rock 'n' roll history tour through the streets of Soho. He's doesn't have it easy; he's just been kicked out of the flat that he shares with his girlfriend who was getting sick and tired of him and his lazy ways.
D'Angelo turns to friend, Luc, for a place to crash. Luc is a sommelier at a fancy Soho restaurant, who reluctantly agrees to let D'Angelo stay with him, though it will cramp both their styles when it comes to the ladies. D'Angelo replaces the love of his girlfriend with a car, a car he takes great care of until he learns that the last owner of the car died in the backseat. D'Angelo's luck seems to be running out. He needs to sell the car to raise much needed cash, and Luc wants him out of the flat. So what does D'Angelo do? In keeping with his mischievous and naughty personality, he sells his beloved car, and he continues to give the rock 'n' roll tours to tourists, with stories that may or may not be true.
Soho Cigarette is a visual feast for the eyes. Never has Soho looked so good on screen. Shot in monochrome black and white, the look and feel of Soho Cigarette is like the look of a shiny LP, dark yet glistening in the light. First time Director Jonathan Fairbairn also employs other camera tricks in the film, the most memorable being a long tracking shot from the car with the camera facing backwards, driving past the shops and pedestrians of Soho and Chinatown. It's a long uncut tracking shot that is used to great effect to give the viewer the flavour and soul of the area. And, of course, Soho regulars will recognize all the locations in the film, from Old Compton Street to Frith Street.
As D'Angelo, Italian actor David Galea is perfect for the role. With his cheeky smile, the glint in his eyes, and his very flirty Italian ways, this man can sell anything, even London Bridge. Jean Baptiste Fillon as Luc and Andreea Padurara as D'Angelo's girlfriend are fine, too. And while the script doesn't live up to the rest of the film's production, just sit back and let Soho Cigarette take you on a ride through Soho.