The legend of Terri Hooley, Ulster’s Godfather of Punk.
Even if a screening is sold out, tickets are often available 30 minutes before the start of the film at the box office at each venue.
- Director Lisa Barros D’Sa, Glenn Leyburn
- Producer Chris Martin, Andrew Eaton, David Holmes, Bruno Charlesworth
- Screenwriter Colin Carberry, Glenn Patterson
- With Richard Dormer, Jodie Whittaker, Dylan Moran
- UK-Ireland 2012
- 103 mins
- UK distribution The Works UK Distribution
Begrudgingly accepting the title of Ulster’s Godfather of Punk, Terri Hooley was responsible for discovering The Undertones and, through his Good Vibrations record shop and label, along with the gigs he promoted, he enabled alternative music to be heard and to flourish in Belfast during the darkest days of Northern Ireland’s Troubles. His self-promoted legend is a wild mix of naivety, a refusal to compromise and a deep love for rock’n’roll, and it is vividly bought to the screen in this bio-pic from filmmakers Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn. Good Vibrations evokes 1970s Belfast avoiding clichés and angst, and its fine cast, led by Richard Dormer as Hooley, is wonderfully committed. In celebrating the music of the time, the film dares to make an unfashionable case that pop music matters, that it can change lives, that it can be transcendent. It celebrates Hooley as truly heroic for making that same case all his life.
Related event: British Films in Focus with Time Out
Terri [Hooley] and Good Vibrations offered a different way of life, a vision of an alternative Ulster: focused on music and creativity, anti-sectarian, all about thinking for yourself. Good Vibes was a light in the darkness for a lot of young people, it encouraged them to raise their expectations, not to accept the version of the world or of their city that the Troubles offered. When Belfast had effectively been shut down at night, punk music brought life back to the city. And Terri fought to get the music heard in an outside world that in many ways had written off Belfast.
Lisa Barros D’Sa
A lot of people got involved in bad things. That scene really did save a lot of people and that’s one of the reasons there is a real warmth for Terri and the music scene at that time. This is a story about the irrepressible spirit of youth and the power of music even in the toughest of places and times. Belfast needed punk, the stuff that punk bands across the world were singing about, the punks in Northern Ireland lived through. As Joe Strummer said, ‘If punk was hard, Ulster was harder’. This scene meant more than whether or not the bands topped the charts, or whether you were wearing the right bondage trousers, it changed how people thought and how they went on to live their lives. And a whole new generation of local bands and musicians cite Terri and Good Vibrations as an inspiration, so it still resonates decades later. […] He definitely effected change on those around him. He was about self-expression, he always trod his own idiosyncratic path, and that’s what makes him such a great subject for a film.
Lisa studied English at Oxford University and has an MA in Screenwriting from London University of the Arts. While working in feature film development for several years, she published short stories, album liner notes and an anthology of Irish fiction. In 2006 she wrote the screenplay for award-winning short The 18th Electricity Plan, which she directed with Glenn Leyburn, and the husband-and-wife duo followed up with their debut feature Cherrybomb, released theatrically in the UK by Universal in 2009. Along with Glenn and long-time collaborator David Holmes, Lisa founded the production company Canderblinks Film and Music. Glenn is a Northern Ireland-born filmmaker who worked as a graphic designer for many years, predominantly in the music industry. He is known in particular for his ongoing collaborations with soundtrack composer David Holmes, at first as album cover designer and subsequently as record label art director and promo film director. Glenn’s design work has been shown at several group exhibitions including the 2008 Helvetica exhibition at the Design Museum in London, and has featured in international design journals such as Creative Review and Eye Magazine.
2006 The 18th Electricity Plan [s]
2012 Good Vibrations
Read the Time Out review.