(2019) 101 mins
Director: Brian Welsh
Writer: Kieran Hurley
Cinematography: Benjamin Kracun
Production Design: Victor Molero
Music: Stephen Hindman, Penelope Trappes
Summer 1994, Scotland. Johnno (Cristian Ortega) and Spanner (Lorn Macdonald) are best mates, but Johnno’s family are moving him to a new town and a better life, leaving Spanner behind to face a precarious future. Going to an illegal rave, the boys journey into an underworld of anarchy, freedom and collision with the law as they share a night that they will never forget.
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Showings of this film are part of our Cinematheque season which is supported by the British Film Institute.
“Heartwarming, given (especially by its textual coda) to a particular melancholy, possessed of maw-blanchingly accurate dialogue, and often laugh out loud funny, rooted in two strong central performances (Cristian Ortega’s Johnno is Spanner’s best friend, and vice versa), immersed in something that if not quite historically perfect at least samples things that seem to be, Beats is almost unbeatable entertainment.” Eye for Film
“The suburban new-town setting and spiky humour initially give the impression of an expletive-heavy Gregory’s Girl with a frantic dance music soundtrack, but director Brian Welsh also makes several salient points about the impact of hard-line political policies on generational pop culture. However, the serious subtext never distracts from an often heart-warming film about friendship and rebellious rites of passage, confidently played out by its two rascally but lovable leads. “ Radio Times