'Good Vibrations' Excellent movie, highly recommended viewing, Not just for old punks and hippies! (by punkyjoe)
It's the morning after the night before, and I'm feeling more than a little fragile as I may have overdone the celebrating a bit. I very rarely drink at all, but I got caught up in all the reminiscing and nostalgia last night. My head is splitting and I'm croaking like frog, yeah! As you've probably already guessed it was a killer night. The'Good Vibrations' movie has been a longtime coming - jeez, the film has been in the pipeline for around 13 years and it's been over two years since the excellent 10 minute fund raising pilot film was made and then screened one <more>
Sunday afternoon in Feb 2010 at the 'QFT'. Understandably I couldn't wait to see this film. I'm absolutely delighted that the 'Good Vibrations' film is here at last, and not only is the movie making its high profile red carpet debut it's also launching the 'Belfast Film Festival. For the first time ever there's a big screen erected especially for the premiere in the historic Ulster Hall which is celebrating its own 150th birthday this year. There was TV coverage all through the glorious day on the local news bulletins. which is not surprising as this is the true ish story of a most unlikely Belfast anti hero & the hottest ticket in town for quite some time. Requests to attend the premiere far out stripped supply so two more screenings were quickly arranged & sold out to cope with the overwhelming demand. It was great to catch up again with the ex punks / Harp Bar regulars from that time as we were the kids that lived a confrontational and exciting lifestyle during a very dangerous time. We did hang out in the Good Vibrations shop, we pilfered the posters from the staircase wall, and we did buy our 45's, fanzines etc etc from the man of the moment himself. The writers and producers totally understood from the get-go just how important this movie was going to be to a generation of kids who stood together studded shoulder to shoulder before and alongside 'Terri Hooley' kicking against the pricks, they treated Terri and the punk's tale with empathy, respect and some very dark humour. Certain scenes in the movie were laugh out loud, while others like Gordi Owens visiting the shop for the first-time and then the subsequent 'Rudi' gig in The Pound just lifted my heart, it was so vivid and evocative of that great time. The sinister side was Terri's beating by two skinheads, which was very realistic, vicious and hard to watch gritty film-making. Now the important question everyone is asking "did the 'Good Vibrations' film live up to all the hype & expectation?" Of course it did, and as you'd expect it has an exceptional soundtrack. There was a long and well deserved standing ovation for all the main players who were all brought on stage together and seemed genuinely taken back & moved by the ecstatic reaction to their little independent film which is now set to go global. Richard Dormer is a revelation, he is so realistic and believable. He actually does Terri better than Terri himself does, and if justice is done this will be recognised as an award winning performance by the movie industry movers & shakers. My son Steven $$ and I can't thank Lisa Barros D'Sa, Glenn Leyburn, David Holmes & Chris Martin enough for giving us the opportunity even though we weren't actors to participate in the film, they are four really talented and very nice people, we are very grateful indeed. '$$' and his pal Chris Smith plus my authentic punk era 'Rudi' logo emblazoned leather jacket got the chance to reprise their roles from the original pilot film, only this time on the hallowed Ulster Hall stage. '$$' also spent a very long day back in September 2011 down in Dundalk filming his part as the 'Rural Punk Kid', which is in the finished movie. I was more than happy to be in there as my teenage punky self in a 1979 'Something Else' TV clip with the real 'Rudi' and to be included in the end credits vintage punk photo reel.Yeah! I've really only commented on the musical aspects of the film here because of word limits, but Terri's non punk private & personal life during this time period is also featured heavily throughout. Congratulations to everyone involved with 'Good Vibrations', you've delivered a movie we can all be proud of.For anyone who hasn't had the pleasure of meeting 'Mr Hooleygan' he is a real one off character, a storytelling socialist press darling anarchist local legend, and possibly one of the worst business-men ever. But through thick & thin and with eternal optimism he has kept the 'Good Vibrations' name alive as a legendary brand. The actual 'GV' record shop still exists and resides in its current form on Royal Avenue in Belfast City Centre, and rumour has it the record label is set to return. The fact that regardless of the location he's still out there doing it 36 years later is his two fingered salute to the world, because he's never let the bastards grind him down. 31.5.12 was the real celebration. 'God Save Terri Hooley'.
I have been waiting for this movie all my adult life (by love-gordon)
I have been waiting for this movie all my adult life. It is a reaffirmation of my personal history and that of my city, Belfast. Punk made Belfast what it is to-day and the energy of the film reflects this. All aspects of the movie excel, but for me personally it is the first accurate, contemporary celluloid portrayal of my community – aggressive black humour, dogged determination underpinned with old fashioned sentimentality and a lack of respect for the Establishment. Protestants in Northern Ireland are often portrayed as rather dour and unaesthetic. Whilst Catholics tend to be seen as <more>
more creative and artistic,indeed Catholics are much more successful in the arts than Protestants. This in no way suggests that Protestants are discriminated against in the arts, we are not, but have simply been lagging behind, until now. So it is no mean feat that that the Good Vibrations movie shows the Protestant community in a refreshingly healthy and artistic light. For the benefit of readers from outside of Northern Ireland the two main bands portrayed in the movie and their fans where Protestant as were the initial wave of local punk bands, punk in Northern Ireland originated in the East Belfast Protestant heartland, Terri Hooley the owner of Good Vibrations came from the Protestant community, as did his partners in the record shop and the committee set up by Terry to run the famous Harp Bar were Protestant and of course the writers of the movie were Protestants. So I think that it is true to say that the Protestant ethic and history of rebellion fuelled the Northern Ireland punk scene from the start. Well done to all concerned.
These kids aren't the problem to Belfast, they are the solution. (by Spikeopath)
"When punk rock ruled over Ulster, nobody ever had more excitement and fun. Between the bombings and shootings, the religious hatred and the settling of old scores, punk gave everybody a chance to LIVE for one glorious moment." Uncle Joe Strummer. Punk Rock and Punk Rockers have always been misunderstood. Back during the original wave that began in 1976 it was thought punks wanted to kill the queen and burn down your villages, so even though some ill informed re: ill educated principals courted controversy, the spirit of punk rock, its ideals and reasons for being, got lost in the <more>
mix of the media frenzies and drug deaths et al. Many films and documentaries have been made over the years, some worthwhile, others not so, but all in an effort to either correct the misconceptions of punk rock, or invite interest into a genre of music that made waves that are still being felt today. Good Vibrations the movie is the embodiment of what it was really all about. The story concerns how Terri Hooley played by a superb Richard Dormer believed that music could make a difference, and this even as a soul destroying Civil War raged out on the streets of Belfast. He opened a record shop and formed his own independent record label the Good Vibrations of the title , and then one day he stumbled on a movement, punk kids who just didn't care about sectarianism, race, creed or colour, they united as one with a love of music, of music with attitude and no hidden agendas. It ticked every box of Hooley's world, forcing him to beg the question of where have these boys been all his life? I would like to report a Civil War outside! The 1970s backdrop of the Northern Ireland "Troubles" strikes all the right emotional chords, but the makers are never heavy handed, it's never over-killed. The key here is portraying a movement - and an individual - that refused to be cowed by the bombs and the bullets. In fact during one quite brilliant scene ignorance proves to be bliss. From personal experience I can say that as a British guy living in England I was vehemently told back in the late 1970s to not even think about buying a 7" single by one of the 'Oirish punk rebel rousers. I'm still flipping that same middle finger I flipped back then, today!Teenage dreams so hard to beat. Thankfully the film doesn't spend most of its time on what music fans know as the key Irish bands of the era. The Undertones were indebted to Hooley as much as they were the legendary and much missed John Peel, but this picture barely features The Undertones, or Stiff Little Fingers as it happens. The former are key, and provide some of Hooley's most memorable moments, in fact it's the crux of the genius and otherwise family changes of Hooley the man and the "businessman". Yet it's the lesser known bands of the time that come to the front and tell the story alongside Hooley, which even though this is a biography of sorts, is a wonderful touch and dare I say it? Very punk rock. It's as he says, they are all a part of Good Vibrations. I saw the light. What of Hooley the man, how he is portrayed here? Pic makes the effort to show he was hardly an ideal husband type, where the love of his life, Ruth the lovely Jodie Whittaker making an under written character boom is playing second fiddle to his musical passion. His relationship with his parents is only pinched, though just enough to make a point, while some of his dealings with the warring factions in his community come off as a bit fanciful. But these are forgivable sidesteps, for this is about the music lover and the movement he fought tooth and nail to get heard. It was never about money, punks wanted it, needed it even, but the true spirit of punk shines bright in Good Vibrations, both musically and as a human interest story, making it essential viewing for anyone interested in the original wave of Punk Rock. 10/10
GOOD VIBRATIONS-IN THE LAND OF THE BLIND I suppose the first two questions that occur when thinking about a biopic review are "Does the subject deserve a biopic?" and "Can it be told in such a fashion that it has a universal appeal?". In the case of Good Vibrations, the second feature from directorial team Glenn Leyburn and Lisa Barros D'Sa, the answer is a resounding "Yes!!". Telling the story of record shop/label owner Terri Hooley, Good Vibrations starts with the young Hooley losing an eye at the business end of an arrow. His world changes instantly. The <more>
first song he hears on the way to the hospital is Hank Williams' "I Saw The Light". The film continues to follow an equally dark and humorous tone. At the height of the troubles in Belfast, Hooley decides to open a record shop in what was The Most Bombed Street In Belfast. There was some stiff competition for that title at the time. It is at this point that the film, and indeed its subject, really takes flight. Hooley had seen his myriad of friends separate and divide into two sides. He felt part of neither. On seeing the punk band Rudi performing at the Pound bar in Belfast, he realised that the emerging Punk scene was as oblivious to religious divide as he was. This was his calling. As the film documents his grand business plan, love and marriage, fatherhood and Teenage Kicks in an ever increasing round of brandies and Guinness, Hooley appears to be on the cusp on greatness. But ultimately, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory is a trait of the one- eyed anarchist.Good Vibrations succeeds on a number of levels. The script, by writers Glenn Patterson and Colin Carberry, is pacey, natural and expresses the humour of Belfast and its inhabitants where others have tried and failed. David Holmes soundtrack is dizzying as it careers from Girl-groups, through Reggae and of course, to Punk, and is as biographical as the film itself. The music is the man and vice versa. But top credit must surely go to Richard Dormer as Hooley. Already familiar with playing complex and arguably insane characters he portrayed Alex Higgins in his self-penned one- man-show, the brilliant Hurricane , he inhabits the role with convincing ease, from Hooleys unusual gait to the mild campness of many Northern Irish men, a product of too many hours at the mothers apron strings while their fathers worked to provide.The look of the film is worth mentioning. The colour palette is spot-on. Not in a 'cinema 1970s' fashion but the earthy browns and greens add a realistic quality to the film. And yes, the Undertones really did dress like their mothers still bought their clothes for them. There are so many scenes that will remain with me forever. Hooleys epiphanic Rudi gig, the beautifully played scene when he slips on the headphones to hear *that* song for the first time and the very subtle hint at his "I punched John Lennon" story. But its not all larks and laughs. The central story of his marriage to Ruth, played with a deft touch by Attack The Block's Jodie Whittaker, is such a tragedy of circumstance that it could get a tear out of a stone. And it did with me
I saw Good Vibrations today and I absolutely loved it. Perhaps the heavy accents will hinder its travel arrangements but I think it will win a few awards; it certainly deserves to! The music is mainly Punk and documents the early career of The Undertones. Any comparison between the young bands portrayed in this film and the top Showbands of the day would be very stark; they roughed it while premier league Showbands were treated like royalty. Nevertheless, it gives a very real account of the Belfast music scene during "The Troubles". I know, I was in the thick of it. The only dodgy <more>
thing about the film is Adrian Dunbar's wig . Perhaps I'm biased because I know Terri but, if you see only one music movie this year, it should be Good Vibrations.
no matter what color your hair, no matter what your religion (by dromasca)
'It didn't matter what color your hair was, or whether you were a Protestant or a Catholic, it just mattered that you were a punk.' This was and probably still is the motto in life of Terri Hooley, the man who inspired the film Good Vibrations directed by Lisa Barros D'Sa and Glenn Leyburn, whose screening was occasioned by the British film festival.We are introduced in the atmosphere of the 70s by a number of newsreels of the period. While the flower power, pop, hippie movements were winning over much of the world with their message of peace and non-violence and with their <more>
music times were tough for Northern Ireland where the religious conflict entered in a violent phase which was going to leave more then 3000 people dead on all sides. Terri Hooley comes from a political involved family, his father was an idealistic Communist, and Terri loses an eye as a kid in a hate act. His great passion is however music, and with music he tries to bridge the gaps between communities, to bring together people around good and beauty, to what should be normality in a world of conflict and violence. And then the opportunity shows up, as he discovers the young people trying to escape the constraints of the society but also of the conventional culture and express themselves and their feelings in in the visceral and straight roughness of punk music. Hooley will help the emerging Northern-Irish punk bends record and distribute their music, and transform Belfast in one of the punk capitals of the world. Suddenly the city known in the news only for conflict and violence becomes a point of cultural interest, a stage for new and innovative music which crosses communities, religions, and haircuts.Good Vibration is a simple and direct film about the power of music, about the capacity of doing good in evil times, about the beauty and necessity of escapism. Actor Richard Dorner draws a passionate portrait of a man who lives for music, who believes that music can bridge and heals. It is not an idealized portrait, as family life falls victim to Hooley's passion, and this aspect is not neglected. It's not a perfect film, some of the supporting characters could have been developed for example, but overall it's, well, a film that passes good vibrations. And there is a lot of music of course, I have never been a fan of punk, but I may become one.According to the news a few months ago Terri Hooley was attacked and abused in his neighborhood in Belfast. Even if 30 years after the troubles the situation in Norther Ireland is much better than it was, healing and reconciliation may have their chance, sequels of the past still show up and the balance is still fragile. The Good Vibrations shop of Terri Hooley opened and closed a few times. Life has ups and downs, but good sometimes prevails.
Committments style feel good gritty film (by netcare)
A good film to go and see. The protagonist, Terri Hooley, is a self obsessed music lover who stumbles across punk while running his independent record shop in Belfast in the late 70's early 80's and goes about promoting and recording punk bands from Northern Ireland.The acting is great, great script and unlike the Commitments this is a true story.Positives: Filmed in colour and atmosphere that portrays the era. The subtle humour and the last line of the movie which I will not give away but will stand as a great movie quote.Negatives: Adrian Dunbar's wig - Cheap is not the word for <more>
I visited Belfast a few years ago and was horrified to see the Wall still standing between Protestant and Catholic parts of the city. A cafe owner told me that until recent years the CBD had to be closed down at night because it was unsafe. I welcomed a movie focusing on the Troubles. I need to know more about it. I love this film. I don't think the film even says what religion or politics Terri Hooley, the record store owner, hails from, because it's irrelevant. He treats people as he finds them. He simply hates violence. As Hooley, Richard Dormer gives a perfect portrayal of a man <more>
who is almost aggressively determined to be a peace lover and to follow his passion for music and community. Even though he doesn't get on with his crotchety old father, a communist would-be politician, the father oddly showed Terri a great example in following his own path, being true to himself and standing up to ridicule. Just watching the senseless gang and police violence and explosions, most of it shown to us from actual file news footage, is enough to make Terri realise that music is the way to escape, and to rise above it all, and he brings others along for the ride. Punk is an unlikely vehicle for his vision, but he realises that all these downtrodden youths around him are just like him -- sick of the stupid tit for tat going on and looking for a way to express themselves, socialise and even experience joy. It's a gritty film. In every frame someone is drinking and smoking heavily and committing crimes against fashion. Terri is hopeless with money, and not so great to his wife, but in the final scenes, you realise what heroic things he did achieve. This is even better than The Commitments in that it's more rooted in reality and it rings true in a lot of ways.