Slough Cooperative Film Society Slough Cooperative Film Society

The Society has been showing the best of world and independent cinema in Slough for 70 years


22nd October 2019 DATCHET VILLAGE HALL


UK 96 mins Cert. 18

Johnno Cristian Ortega Director Brian Welsh
Spanner Lorn Macdonald Screenplay Kieran Hurley
Alison Laura Fraser Brian Welsh
Robert Brian Ferguson Cinematography Ben Kracun
D-Man Ross Mann Editors Robin Hill
Laura Gemma McElhinney    Brian Welsh
Cat Amy Manson Music Stephen Hindman
Wendy Rachel Jackson  Penelope Trappes
Fido Neil Leiper Original soundtrack/td>JD Twitch of Optimal
LLes Kevin Mains   
Set in 1994, the year in which the Criminal Justice Bill signalled the end of the free-party era of illegal raves, the Scottish-made Beats pulls off the tricky task of delivering a culturally specific coming-of-age movie in a way that feels simultaneously cutting edge yet affectionate. Adapted by director and co-writer Brian Welsh from co-writer Kieran Hurley’s hit play of the same name, it boasts amusing and lively lead performances from relative newcomers Cristian Ortega and Lorn Macdonald as a pair of Central Belt bampots determined to attend their first rave before their lives take divergent paths.
Beats poster

Shot in black-and-white, the film effectively mythologises their humdrum existence, but the monochrome also helps signify the marginalised nature of the scene politically and culturally in an era in which Britpop had the ear of the New Labour establishment. The film is at its best when it’s communicating these ideas visually, replicating for posterity an immediate-pre-internet age of taped-from-radio mixtapes, pirate DJs and elaborately organised nights out. Yet it’s really when Welsh transforms the final act into an abstract extended rave sequence – replete with the movie’s only flashes of colour – that he transcends the familiar elements of the genre to capture the ephemeral nature of this scene in all its blissed-out, impossible-to-sustain glory.

Alistair Harkness at