'Good Vibrations' is the critically lauded, unmissable chronicle of legendary Terri Hooley — a chaotic but charismatic optimist, instrumental in developing Belfast's independent rock scene.
Just as the troubles of 1970s Belfast threaten to take over his city, music-lover Terri Hooley opens a record shop called Good Vibrations.
Hooley discovers a growing voice of resistance in the city’s underground punk movement, and before long he finds himself establishing a record label and leading a new community as the so-called ‘godfather of punk’.
Starring Richard Dormer, Liam Cunningham, Dylan Moran and Jodie Whittaker and co-directed by Lisa Barros D'Sa and Glenn Leyburn, this is a vibrant, triumphant story that will have audiences cheering for more and one that Barros D'Sa is so proud of..
How did you get involved in the project?
The screenplay writers, Glenn Patterson and Colin Carberry, had the idea some years ago that the story of Terri and Good Vibrations would make a great film. But at that stage Terri was perhaps not quite ready to have his story told. We came on board some years later and we could see that here was a story not just about an extraordinary man living through extraordinary times but about something universal: youth and music and their power to resist and defy the darkest of times.
As the man who discovered The Undertones and Ireland's 'Godfather of Punk', Terri Hooley has had a huge influence on the Belfast music scene. Did you feel any pressure when you took on the challenge of telling his story?
Of course, it's always a big responsibility to tell the story of someone's life. We always knew that we didn't want this to be a hagiography - a great film character is a complex one, and Terri, like all of us, has his flaws, and there have been tough times in his life. We always wanted the film to be a celebration of what Terri achieved, both locally and in getting the voice and spirit of Belfast and Northern Ireland punk heard across the world.
With its focus on Northern Irish politics and the British punk scene, how do you think the film will go down with Australian audiences?
We never wanted to make this film only for a local, Northern Irish audience. As I've said above, we were attracted to the story for its very universal themes and we hoped that those would speak to audiences across the globe. To date we've been thrilled with how well 'Good Vibes' has chimed with audiences in countries from the US to the Czech Republic, Spain, Italy, the UK and South Korea, to name only a few! We really hope Australian audiences will find something in it they respond to as well. We also wanted to make a film with fantastic music and a lot of wit, comedy and warmth and we hope those elements will reach Australian audiences too.
As a music biopic, the the soundtrack to the film is important. Was it difficult to choose the tracks and secure the rights?
Hugely important! We're so proud of David Holmes and Keefus Green's fantastic soundtrack which has recently been released by Ace Records and chosen as Rough Trade's compilation of the year, 2013. David's own encyclopaedic knowledge of music and eclectic taste reflect Terri's own; this was never going to be a soundtrack with just punk music on it.
'Good Vibrations' is screening as part of this year's British Film Festival from Nov 27-Dec 8.