Thursday, March 19, 2015

Review of 'Good Vibrations'

Watched this on the telly (well, BBC Iplayer via Chromecast actually - included this in case it becomes useful in a future social history of technology; I can't remember the last time that I watched a film on telly as it was actually broadcast). I was a bit disappointed, the more so since at least one friend with good judgement recommended it.

It seems to me that it's basically a 'kids are all right' sort of film, with a background of paramilitaries for a bit of gravitas. There's some great washed-out and gritty footage of this, but it doesn't add up to anything except the atmosphere. Like 'Northern Soul', but with guns instead of drugs - though of course in real life it was guns and drugs.

Terri is running a record shop in Belfast, and ends up running a label that discovers the Undertones among others. Although it's suggested that he was political before the start of The Troubles (and even that he had left-wing mates in both 'communities') he seems to have no politics at all now, apart from the 'music transcends all boundaries' and 'why can't we just be friends' sort of politics. Bombs go off, nasty sectarian graffiti appears (and is papered over by Terri's army of non-sectarian punks) but there's no meaning or context to it. The only British soldier who appears in the film is a Black squaddie who stops Terri's roadshow one night in the rain, but turns out to be sympathetic to his project and basically decent and respectful. That's just how it was, right?

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