Sing Street: a guest movie review!

Reviewanew has been mainly about cities. But it was always intended to review anything, so this one is about a movie, albeit with a cityesque title and telling a story that is at least partly about its place and time – Dublin in the 80s. (There has been one movie related post on reviewanew here).

My good mate, Robert Livingstone-Ward, loves movies. Here’s a review he did in new indie release Sing Street.

“A friend keeps asking me to do a movie review blog, so I’ll try this one out.  

SING STREET is a great little indie movie out of Ireland released today at your Dendy and Palace -type cinema. If you grew up with 80’s music, you’ll love this simple story about a school boy, Conor, putting together a band to impress a girl, Raphina, at a time (1985) when music was upbeat and Top of the Pops and MTV music videos were all the rage. Needless to say, the Christian Brothers headmaster of his Synge Street school (a real school, then and now) is less than impressed. 

Conor has other challenges too – he is bullied at his new school, Dublin is gritty and depressing, his parents’ marriage is in trouble, his brother laments lost opportunities, and Raphina seems to have an older boyfriend who listens to Genesis.

The story is sweet, but music is the thing here, as was the case in Dubliner writer/director John Carney’s last movie, “Begin Again”. Watching the young lead, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, alter his look and musical style as his influences change according to the band of the moment (think new romantic bands, to The Cure, to Spandau Ballet) is amusing. He and Mark McKenna (one of those musical prodigies who can play almost any instrument he touches) are legitimate musos (there is footage of them playing live at Sundance, where the film was previewed earlier this year) and make a believable song-writing team.

The Back to the Future stage performance is terrific, the amateur Visage/Kraftwerk song and accompanying film clip is suitably awful yet reflective of the time (and I couldn’t get the Howard Jones sync drums and synths out of my head), and after a listen to Hall and Oates, the band creates a song with bass and beats straight out of “Maneater”.

Low key, low budget, but loads of charm. 4 stars.”

Thanks RLW!

Greg Vann

July 2016

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