Magazine article Screen International

Good Vibrations

Magazine article Screen International

Good Vibrations

Article excerpt

Dirs: Lisa Barrosova D'Sa, Glen Leyburn. UK-Ireland. 2012. 97mins

On the surface, Good Vibrations might appear to be a rather traditional bio-pic, but its fascinating real life-story of Terri Hooley, the one-eyed Godfather of Punk in Northern Ireland, also offers a powerful snapshot of the terrible times of Belfast in the 1970s, and a vision of how music can make a difference.

The strength of Good Vibrations is of how it portrays the importance of the scene within a city driven apart by violence.

The film. opened the Belfast Film Festival, and most recently was the opening night film for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, and good word of mouth will boost sales interest for the film. The accents mean subtitling will be likely even in most English-speaking territories, while it is also likely the film will be a hot target for other film festivals.

Co-directors Lisa Barrosova D'Sa and Glen Leyburn opt for a mixed bag of directorial styles (some of which work better than others) as they attempt to bring of dose of magical realism to the story of Hooley (played with real relish by Richard Dormer), a music-mad Belfast man who set up the Good Vibrations record store at the height of The Troubles in the 1970s - in the most-bombed half-mile in Europe - before setting up a record label when he became enraptured with the burgeoning Belfast punk scene.

For Hooley, the punk scene transcended the sectarianism that divided the city (the film plays up the horrors and drama of The Troubles, but it is never the main thrust of the story) as he set about setting up gigs for the young bands and even organising his own record label to try and spread the good word, always supporting bands such as Rudi and the Outcasts.

The centre point of the film - and also the real emotional high - comes as he agrees to produce a single of Teenage Kicks by The Undertones and manages to get it played on legendary Radio 1 DJ John Peel's show. …

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