So we've had Barbershop I and II, and there’s Spike Lee’s first feature film Joe’s Bed-Sty: We Cut Heads, and other films and TV programs about black barbershops. That is, black barbershops here in the U.S.
But, of course, black people are everywhere, and they have hair too, which means they have to go someplace to get it cut.
Which brings us to Trim, a new short film by Black British filmmaker John Vanderpuije about a day in the life of Diligence, a very well known and established black barbershop located in West Ealing just outside of London, which he says is a place “full of life and love for the art of cutting hair."
He says he always wanted to make Trim “to celebrate the art of a great haircut and just try and capture the mood, feeling and humour that comes with being in a British Barbershop. We haven't seen the inside of a British barbershop since Desmonds TV show (an old Channel 4 TV show in the U.K. ) and I thought it was about time to remind ourselves why these places are so important in local communities across London and of course the world."
And that is quite evident when you watch the film which is truly engaging and, as you will see, Vanderpuije has quite a visual eye.
I should mention Vanderpuije's fellow British filmmaker Andy Mundy-Castle's feature documentary The Fade, which paints for audiences an intimate portrait of four black barbers from different parts of the world (Ghana, Jamaica, the USA, and, of course, the UK), followed over the course of seven days. That film is currently on the film festival circuit.
As for his background, Vanderpuije was a former journalist who has written children's TV shows for the BBC, formed his own creative agency working Nike and Dizzee Rascal (O.K.. I admit I had to look up what is Dizzee Rascal and turns out he’s a popular British rapper) and has directed several previous shorts.
As for why Vanderpuije wanted to become a filmmaker, he puts the blame on his parents.
He told me that “my dad was a doctor and my mum started off as a community nurse, and one thing they instilled in me, is having empathy for people, listening and being curious about people's stories. This is what I'm after in filmmaking: telling stories about engaging, interesting, what-the-hell-is-he-or-she-going-to-do-next characters and following them to that moment of self-revelation or not."
He’s currently in the midst of casting his next film, a fiction short Untitled Room 11 Movie which is about “an U.K rap music has-been, on the run from his past, whose about to rediscover his beat. It's a movie about: outsiders, boom-bap, loneliness, beat-tapes, friendship and the demons knocking down your door."
Vanderpuije even has his own website which you can check out HERE.
Take a look at Trim below: