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A Reel Life film section

Issue: Autumn 2014

Good Vibrations (2012) movie review

They Were the Best of Times, They Were the Worst of Times

There is something about a biopic that makes the viewer feel just a bit inadequate when the subject is unfamiliar. Good Vibrations is a film biography of Terri Hooley, a Belfast record shop owner and socialist-by-birth who became a lynchpin of the local punk movement, and an enthusiastic but largely unsuccessful record producer.

Hooley is presented as a man embarrassed at the thought of being a capitalist entrepreneur, and who therefore spends his life sabotaging himself and his businesses.

Movie poster, Good Vibrations, Festivale film review; x

Movie poster, Good Vibrations

Although the punk movement was mad hair, razor blades and safety pins as jewellry, and, well, punks, the movement in Good Vibrations is presented in the context of the Troubles, the decades-long civil war that separated a country by religion and rapidly created a climate of fear and hatred with guns and bombs.

The punk movement crossed these boundaries and gave the youth a voice for their own rebellion. While New York had the haircuts, Belfast had the angst. The story of Terri Hooley, told in very human terms as the story of a likeable bloke, is also the tale of a period of Irish history that blighted generations. It is at once the story of a musical movement and a country in turmoil, told without hubris in an engaging manner that is accessible even to those who don't relate to the music.

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by Ali Kayn
Australian release June 12 2014
For credits and official site details, see below
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Just the facts:

Title: Good Vibrations (2012)
Written by: Glenn Patterson & Colin Carberry
Directed by: Lisa Barros D'Sa & Glenn Leyburn
Running time: 103 min

The Players: Liam Cunningham, Jodie Whittaker

Official website:
IMDb entry

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