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» » Strumpet (2001)

Short summary

Strayman, a spontaneous poet, is landlord to a pack of stray dogs. Unable to resist another of life's strays, he hooks up with Strumpet, a shy, homeless girl with an extraordinary gift for music. After Strayman's neighbour overhears them singing, the three set off for London - Strayman's dogs in tow - in search of fame, fortune, and Top Of The Pops.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Cha
    Don't expect a new 'Shallow Grave' or 'Trainspotting'; this is a film rather for the people who appreciated 'Trainspotting' for it's refined criticism against drugs and the so-called generation X, for people who noticed how tragic that story really was, then for people who loved it for it's drug- and action scenes. Christopher Eccleston is just terrific in this picture which is very vivid, quite original and has a certain -sometimes sarcastic- sence of humor. See for yourself what it is about, and be nicely surprised!
  • comment
    • Author: Mori
    Director Danny Boyle , Producer Martin Carr and Jim Cartwright have achieved what many would be afraid to do. This feature shot on dv has captured the heart of true movie making with is truthful, raw beauty. Strumpet is a coolly ambivalent study into a modern-day fairy tale, an outcast called Strayman, who lives by himself with a pack of dogs, writes what he feels about life on the walls of his flat. The savage but true poet who falls for a beautiful singer, they encounter a producer who sets both their poetry and music in motion. Instead of dwelling on the pretentious liaisons between artists and the industry, director Danny Boyle explores the changing relationships between people before and after their natural talent is stifled by the hold of the commercial music industry. Jim Cartwright's story is a study into real modern day fairytale storytelling, concentrating on making an assertion that even in this life, dreams will be realised. At the centre of this, is the modern day hero 'Strayman', played by Christopher Eccleston. One of the cinema's most fearless actors, Eccleston brings a melancholic yet truly heart-warming presence to create one the most unique of characters. Uplifting and truthful, 'Strumpet' echoes the message that dreams can be realised and great films can be made on whatever canvas the story unfolds.
  • comment
    • Author: Kikora
    Just seen "Stumpet" on TV and thought that it was certainly one of the more interesting films I have seen of late. I had to write this as I have read the previous review and it didn't seem to do it justice. Sure, Strumpet is rough round the edges, it's not as sanitized or as colourful as Shallow Grave or Trainspotting, but in my view that adds to its character.

    From the "chicken town" poem at the beginning to hypocrisy of "Top of the pops" at the end, the film throws convention away and does something different and inspiring.

    By no means the best film in the world, but definitely worth a watch. You will like it or you will hate it.
  • comment
    • Author: Throw her heart
    This film is worth watching for the opening scene, where Christopher Ecclestone gives a fabulous rendition of John Cooper Clarke's poem, "ChickenTown".

    If you don't know the poem, you're in for a real treat. If you do know it, you'll hear a version that even surpasses a John Cooper Clarke performance in both its venom and humour.

    Unfortunately, the rest of the film doesn't live up to this initial promise. The characters just don't stand up as real people. Strayman in particular: one minute he's giving the performance of his life reading poetry in a pub, next moment he can't string two words together. And what is it with Strumpet needing to strip off in order to be able to sing? There are also some plot holes (such as who feeds Strayman's pack of dogs when they travel to London on their first trip south and how Strumpet manages to find a caravan home to hide in when in London).
  • comment
    • Author: MARK BEN FORD
    A personal highlight of the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2001, "Strumpet" is a dazzling showcase of DV filmmaking that never undermines the startling narrative, perfectly crafted by Jim Cartwright and realised by Danny Boyle. Christopher Eccleston is amazing! Hurting. Searching. Honest. Carrying the weight of life in "Chicken Town". Not since Four Weddings has the 'F' word been used to such good effect - here it hammers it's way into your psyche, painting a bleak canvas onto which the story unfolds. Anyways, enough already! Uplifting. Revelatory, and after months of rhetoric of how DV will change the world, I've finally seen the future... and it all hangs on a great story and true passion in front of and behind the camera.

    This film shouldn't be defined by it's creation on DV. DV or not DV who cares? Good films come from the heart, and communicate some level of truth and experience and this film has plenty all round. Truly essential.
  • comment
    • Author: Taur
    Being familiar with Danny Boyle's filmography, I was surprised to see him such a tame subject matter. A street poet who takes in a stray girl. However, I soon learned there was nothing tame about this film which I saw last night at the Toronto International Film Festival. I cannot get the music out of my head, not because it was particularly good, but because like the film it was daring, original, energetic and truthful.
  • comment
    • Author: Kendis
    Like it's almost simultaneously made-for-TV mate 'Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise' these 2 low budget TV films seem to be Boyle's reaction to getting caught up in the machinery of Hollywood -- both in style (shot on video, lots of hand-held, a rawness) and in theme (both are, in their own ways, satires on the ills of capitalism and selling out). But where 'Vacuuming' was more of an over the top, super dark and somewhat angry comedy/satire, 'Strumpet is a bit more gentle and fairy-tale like. An angry young poet (a great Chris Eccelston), who is followed by the stray neighborhood dogs everywhere (hence his name 'Strayman') meets an adorable waif like young woman who can (sort of) play the guitar. They dance around in his living room, her naked, singing a song made up from the words of his poems, which he has scribbled all over the wall. A goofily enterprising young neighbor makes a demo tape, and sets out to get them a career. And lo and behold, he pulls it off, but at the expense of almost destroying who they are as the system tries to mainstream them. This is charming, well acted stuff, although hard to take seriously on any but the most fanciful level. The idea that these two screaming bizarre poetry would be swept up as the 'next big thing' is very far-fetched, especially since the song really isn't that great (which may well be part of the point). On some levels the second half, about the corrupting evils of the record business taking away their innocence is overly familiar, even if done here with more originality than usual. But the opening half, as these two oddballs just get to know and trust each other, is deeply charming.
  • comment
    • Author: Styphe
    Story of a good-for-nothing poet and a sidekick singer who puts his words to music. Director Danny Boyle has lost none of his predilection for raking in the gutter of humanity for characters but he has lost, in this film, the edge for creating inspiring and funny films. Strumpet is painful to watch and barely justified by the fact that it was made for TV.
  • comment
    • Author: 6snake6
    This utterly dull, senseless, pointless, spiritless, and dumb movie isn't the final proof that the world can forget about Danny Boyle and his post-"Trainspotting" movies: "The Beach" already took care of that. What this low-budget oddity does is merely to secure his place among those who started very well but got completely lost in drugs, booze, ego, self-delusion, bad management or whatever it was that lead to this once-promising director's quick demise.

    The premise is absurd: two losers (Ecclestone and some bimbo Jenna G - a rapper, likely) meet by chance and spontaneously start singing with fervour more akin to lunatic asylum inhabitants than a potential hit-making duo - which they become. A friend of theirs - an even bigger illiterate loser - becomes their manager by smashing a store window and stealing a video-camera by which he films them in "action", and then shows the tape to some music people who actually show interest in this garbage. Now, I know that the UK in recent years has put out incredible junk, but this is ridiculous; the music makes Oasis seem like The Beatles. During the studio recordings, the duo - Strumpet - change lyrics in every take and Ecclestone quite arrogantly tells the music biz guys to take it or leave it, and quite absurdly they do take it. Not only is the music total and utter trash, but its "performers" are anti-social; these NEWCOMERS are supposed to be calling the shots. It's just too dumb. It's plain awful.

    The dialog is unfunny and goes nowhere, and this rags-to-bitches story has no point and makes no sense. It often feels improvised - under the influence of drugs. Danny Boyle is a complete idiot. This little piece of trash is so bad it's embarrassing to watch. Ecclestone's I.Q. also has to be questioned for agreeing to be part of this nonsense. Whoever financed this £1000 joke should leave the movie business before they end up selling their own underwear on street corners.
  • Credited cast:
    Josh Cole Josh Cole - Record Engineer
    David Crellin David Crellin - Curdy
    Christopher Eccleston Christopher Eccleston - Strayman
    Amanda Fairclough Amanda Fairclough - Strumpet's Mother
    Jenna G. Jenna G. - Strumpet
    Graeme Hawley Graeme Hawley - Producer
    Ramzi Marouani Ramzi Marouani - Security Guard
    Jonathan Ryland Jonathan Ryland - Colonel Parker
    Stephen Taylor Stephen Taylor - Perry
    Stephen Walters Stephen Walters - Knockoff
    Bernard Wrigley Bernard Wrigley
    Adam Zane Adam Zane - Tim
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