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Beats + Q&A (18)

19 May

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  • A Autism friendly
  • C Captioned
  • D Dementia friendly


The much-anticipated screen version of Kieran Hurley’s award-winning play is a gallus, bittersweet coming-of-age rollercoaster: imagine Fellini’s I Vitelloni set to a throbbing techno beat. It is 1994 and new legislation effectively outlaws raves or “public gatherings around amplified music characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats”. The party is well and truly over but not before mild-mannered teenager Johnno (Cristian Ortega) is encouraged to join his best mate Spanner (Lorn Macdonald) for one last big night out at an illegal rave.

Filmed in black and white, with Steven Soderbergh as executive producer, Beats finds real poignancy in the bond between these two innocents as they enter a wonderland of rebellion and romance. A heady solidarity is forged in the sweaty bodies, casual encounters and carefree exuberance of youth gathered in the pursuit of a good time. GFF19

Followed by a Q&A with director Brian Welsh, Desert Storm DJ Ally, Tommy Smith and DJ Bonzai Bonner.

Beats director, Brian Welsh, will lead a discussion on parties and protests, with Desert Storm DJ Ally and Tommy Smith from The Blackburn Self Help Group (famous for defending the rave movement, saying he was “High on hope” live on Granada TV). Both were massively influential in the 90s rave scene, organising legendary parties and protesting against the Criminal Justice Act.  They will be joined by local DJ Bonzai Bonner talking about how parties and people who want to challenge the status quo still go hand in hand.

  • Director Brian Welsh
  • Cast Cristian Ortega, Lorn Macdonald, Laura Fraser
  • Certificate 18
  • Running time 1h42m
  • Country UK
  • Running time 2018
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