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TailorMade Gaz B

Northern Soul - The Movie Preview At The Cornerhouse, Manchester

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I wasn't there last night but have seen two earlier edits and can tell you that it is very representative of the scene and certainly looks like I remember it from my youth. I'm sure some anal geek will spot a 1975 pair of socks being worn when it's set in 1974, but I'm of the opinion that this looks as authentic as it is ever likely to get.

 

Of course, this film has more than one function, one is to document a scene that means so much to us, another is as a piece of entertainment for the wider public. Whereas Soulboy didn't take itself too seriously and is light hearted, this film depicts the grittiness of the times to good effect and is going to appeal to people who like a good drama. Having said that, I couldn't help smiling at Steve Coogan's character, it just characterised schoolteachers of that era so well (well perhaps not Soul Sam). I would also hope that this film inspires younger people to go out and discover Northern Soul, but at my age it is difficult to judge how inspiring it may be to the mobile generation. What I do know is that my daughter has got in to Northern through this film, so it must have done something right!

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Well its all very subjective but...the cultural revival and interest it has created its a good thing, and although I didn't attend the dance workshop, I think they were a good thing too, except for the new wave of young people in vests and bags, but they didn't know any better for a short period of time. Dance work shop - uniform and songs - straight out to a club and then...Oh...not many people actually wear this anymore. Perhaps they should have been briefed on that ;)

So as Loft has just alluded too in the above post - its a great brand ambassador for the scene, and the music. The soundtrack is great and a real achievement to get music she did on it. The Tomangoes must have been expensive though, you only get 10sec's of that, and the costumes were quality!
 

 

Equally, the justifications from Elaine in the Q&A were genuine, tangible, considered and sincere, but my criticism is that the film was cinematically weak. 
Great narrative/plot/character development in the beginning, but then just seemed rushed and the chronology and distribution of time is weird...does it all happen in a week, or a few months. If its a week, it was a fun, jam packed and exciting week! He moves out, he goes home, he changes jobs, starts up a club...
 

You've got the usual love interest, an emotional tipping point that sends the main character down the dark road to soul, and then enlightenment achieved through the communality of the dance floor and the music. Good acknowledgement of working class culture too but it was lacking something that you'd expect from a Ken Loach film, if one could make a comparison to a British Director who'd try and make something similar; something that grabs or shocks or pulls you emotionally. But maybe its more about passive, entertainment - but I don;t think anyone sets out to make a film that you can just let pass you by - you want something engaging. 

The acting wasn't great either - but I don't know if they were actors before? 
 

Edited by TailorMade Gaz B

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I'm not expecting anything more than a related piece of audio visual bubblegum, so can't see mesen being disappointed.

Ah, i wouldn't be so pessimistic Barry, its not that bad. Its fiction, as she alluded to because she felt a documentary wasn't fitting and she didn't want to focus on those with weird idiosyncrasies you find at clubs like those folk that collect just one label, or deep soul and laugh at cross over etc - its her story at the end of the day, and i'm sure many people will share the same experiences and memories.

The feedback in the audience was good from people saying he got the 'feel' right and the aesthetics of the era right too - just a shame that in the 70's everyone looked awful and everything was brown. 

But i'm younger, and already well into it, so I don't need coaxing in, or to be enthused, or needed to attend dance workshops, and thats why I criticised it cinematically. But in terms of authenticity, I think its pretty water tight, but for me, the production value across the board wasn't to my liking. 

Edited by TailorMade Gaz B

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Ah, i wouldn't be so pessimistic Barry, its not that bad. Its fiction, as she alluded to because she felt a documentary wasn't fitting and she didn't want to focus on those with weird idiosyncrasies, that collect just one label, or deep soul and laugh at cross over etc - its her story at the end of the day, and i'm sure many people will share the same experiences and memories. Feedback int he audience was good from people saying he got the 'feel' aesthetically, of the era right - just a shame that in the 70's everyone looked awful and everything was brown. 

But i'm younger, and already well into it, so I don't need coaxing in, or to be enthused, or needed to attend dance workshops, and thats why I criticised it cinematically. But in terms of authenticity, I think its pretty water tight, but for me, the production value across the board wasn't to my liking. 

 

I'm not being in the slightest bit pessimistic Gaz...it ain't gonna be the next Goodfella's now is it mate? haha :wink:

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I read a post on FB that said The Cornerhouse is showing the film for the rest of the week. It might be worth a phone call to see if this is correct Steve

According to The Films FB page it is on Fri n Sat but the tickets where bringing £65 - £125 on Stubhub & Evilbay.

They where taken off after some comments, not sure if there back up for sale

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Well its all very subjective but...the cultural revival and interest it has created its a good thing, and although I didn't attend the dance workshop, I think they were a good thing too, except for the new wave of young people in vests and bags, but they didn't know any better for a short period of time. Dance work shop - uniform and songs - straight out to a club and then...Oh...not many people actually wear this anymore. Perhaps they should have been briefed on that ;)

So as Loft has just alluded too in the above post - its a great brand ambassador for the scene, and the music. The soundtrack is great and a real achievement to get music she did on it. The Tomangoes must have been expensive though, you only get 10sec's of that, and the costumes were quality!

 

 

Equally, the justifications from Elaine in the Q&A were genuine, tangible, considered and sincere, but my criticism is that the film was cinematically weak. 

Great narrative/plot/character development in the beginning, but then just seemed rushed and the chronology and distribution of time is weird...does it all happen in a week, or a few months. If its a week, it was a fun, jam packed and exciting week! He moves out, he goes home, he changes jobs, starts up a club...

 

You've got the usual love interest, an emotional tipping point that sends the main character down the dark road to soul, and then enlightenment achieved through the communality of the dance floor and the music. Good acknowledgement of working class culture too but it was lacking something that you'd expect from a Ken Loach film, if one could make a comparison to a British Director who'd try and make something similar; something that grabs or shocks or pulls you emotionally. But maybe its more about passive, entertainment - but I don;t think anyone sets out to make a film that you can just let pass you by - you want something engaging. 

The acting wasn't great either - but I don't know if they were actors before? 

 

 

Well done mate, that was an excellent honest review.

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Hi,

Just to confirm there will not be any more screenings of the film this weekend at the 6 Music Festival, as it was a 1 off preview.

The film will be going on cinematic general release this year, we are just waiting for the distributors to announce the date.

Thank you all for your continued support and patience...

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Well its all very subjective but...the cultural revival and interest it has created its a good thing, and although I didn't attend the dance workshop, I think they were a good thing too, except for the new wave of young people in vests and bags, but they didn't know any better for a short period of time. Dance work shop - uniform and songs - straight out to a club and then...Oh...not many people actually wear this anymore. Perhaps they should have been briefed on that ;)

So as Loft has just alluded too in the above post - its a great brand ambassador for the scene, and the music. The soundtrack is great and a real achievement to get music she did on it. The Tomangoes must have been expensive though, you only get 10sec's of that, and the costumes were quality!

 

 

Equally, the justifications from Elaine in the Q&A were genuine, tangible, considered and sincere, but my criticism is that the film was cinematically weak. 

Great narrative/plot/character development in the beginning, but then just seemed rushed and the chronology and distribution of time is weird...does it all happen in a week, or a few months. If its a week, it was a fun, jam packed and exciting week! He moves out, he goes home, he changes jobs, starts up a club...

 

You've got the usual love interest, an emotional tipping point that sends the main character down the dark road to soul, and then enlightenment achieved through the communality of the dance floor and the music. Good acknowledgement of working class culture too but it was lacking something that you'd expect from a Ken Loach film, if one could make a comparison to a British Director who'd try and make something similar; something that grabs or shocks or pulls you emotionally. But maybe its more about passive, entertainment - but I don;t think anyone sets out to make a film that you can just let pass you by - you want something engaging. 

The acting wasn't great either - but I don't know if they were actors before? 

 

 

 

Good review Gary and as Pete says, honest and balanced as well, like your good self. :thumbsup:

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Hi Gary,

nice to speak to you last night,although we nearly never got there,thanks to the wonderful metrolink service from Bury going pear shaped at the last minute.A few famous faces in the audience Manny and Ian Brown in attendance.

I thought it was good,new experience for me a thunderous round of applause at the end of the film!! For me as a regular in the early days of the casino it did bring back a lot of memories of travelling to the nighter by whatever means of transport,all set to a great sound track of the classics Salvadors,Towanda Barnes,Tomangoes,Gwen Owens Duke Browner.

Hats off to Elaine Constantine for a worthy effort,you're never going to please everyone,some interesting credits at the end Guy Hennigan involved in training/coaching the DJ's one of the characters classic intros to every record "dance ya b*st*rds!!

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...Not called the pictures anymore, ha ha... You are so last week Steve...

Stevie. Next you will be telling me that you cant smoke in the pictures anymore and that the usherette don't show you to your seats then brings round the icecreams at half time.

 

Steve

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What have Manny(sic) and Ian Brown got to do with the Northern scene of the '70's?

Very little I'd expect, nearest is I think they were scooter lads early 80s, however this screening wasn't really aimed at just us was it? More to get the word out to a wider audience to bolster the distribution deal and having a couple of Indie Icons on board won't do any harm. Edited by Byrney

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Very little I'd expect, nearest is I think they were scooter lads early 80s, however this screening wasn't really aimed at just us was it? More to get the word out to a wider audience to bolster the distribution deal and having a couple of Indie Icons on board won't do any harm.

That was one topic asked in the Q+A "any plans to do a film about the scooterists scene" and  having Ian Brown and Mani? in the audience,no one said they were anything to do with Northern in the 70s. Mr Searling was also in attendance,he might have had some involvement. 

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More like currying favour in any market....

And why not, can't see the downside if the film is to recoup costs, us old duffers don't offer the critical mass in sales to pay for the catering.

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Regards Dance scenes.

During filming I pulled the director. Told him that it wasn't authentic. Dance Scenes had no one smoking chewing gum etc.

So they changed and reset. Came round with boxes of fake ciggies and gum. Awsome from trailer show at King George Hall Blackburn for Casino 40th Anniversary

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Wheres the credit for the tickets you received gary?!?! Shameful!!

 Maxwell - stop trying to get your post numbers up. 

Yes, tickets gratefully received. I should add that I did thank him a few times before going to the film in case anyone thinks i'm rude ;)

I also gave you a nod in this post - so I hope that makes amends 

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Here's That Beatin' Rhythm review; I always find it hard negotiating FB

 

Stars and fans gather in Manchester for exclusive film preview

Manchester’s Cornerhouse Cinema was the venue for the long-awaited first screening of Elaine Constantine’s new film Northern Soul.

A reported 10,000 people applied for tickets to the event, run as part of the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival Fringe. Only a few hundred got lucky, mostly from Greater Manchester and northern England.

And last night (Wednesday) the chosen few mingled with the stars and others associated with the production to see the results of years of meticulous planning and execution.

It’s fair to say it hits the mark — at last a credible film really getting to the heart of this incredible era of youth culture that still resonates today.

The storyline cleverly blends all the ingredients that defined the scene in the 1970s — from the obsessive record collecting, dancing and drug taking to the deeper aspects such as… well, the consequences of all of the above.

If you went to all-nighters at the time, it’s an emotional roller coaster ride that will hit you with the highs and lows, triumphs and tragedies all over again. If you didn’t go, it’s the closest you’ll get to ever understanding.

A documentary maker by profession, Elaine says her film had to be fictional to show the scene as a ‘cool thing.’ In other words, 40 years on, the original characters just can’t cut the mustard any more. And, of course, she is right. 

She is also right to say that contemporary documentaries tend to focus in on those who have carried on the obsession and old stereotypes, which make it all seem weird to the rest of the world.

“The human interest is more real,” she said speaking in a question and answer session hosted by BBC broadcaster Stuart Maconie after the screening.

“It’s about the friendships and people pushing themselves to extremes to embrace the music.”
With guidance from her producer Debbie Gray, Elaine has used both her film making skills and inside knowledge of the scene. It avoids becoming corny. It’s eloquent and believable.

Hands up those who felt like an emergency exit door from the mundane and norms of the time had been flung open when you had your first taste of the music down the local youth club.

And the film actually acknowledges that southerners went to Wigan (one is a main character), point out there were relatively few black people on the scene, and, oh yes, you could spot squad a mile off.

The Casino scenes shot at King George’s Hall in Blackburn capture the atmosphere and excitement brilliantly, with clever camera work and lighting playing their part. Elaine credits original Casino DJ Richard Searling with steering her in the right direction for the venue.

There is also a talented young cast to thank. They fully embrace the lives they portray - from the main players to all those who dance in the background. Their dedication is rewarded by the film’s authentic feel.

Enrolling and ‘training’ the dancers was a major operation that started four years before shooting. The youngsters learnt from more experienced shufflers and spinners (many of whom were at the Manchester preview) in sessions in London and Bolton.

Collecting all the original clothing over several years was also part of the painstaking process to get things right

Cameo roles for Steve Coogan, Lisa Stansfield and Ricky Tomlinson can only add weight to the project.

And what about the music? A fabulous sound track includes Shirley Ellis — Soul Time, Duke Browner — Crying Over You, The Salvadors — Stick By me Baby, Luther Ingram — Exus Trek, and many more.

Northern Soul will go on general release this summer.

The sound track will be released on a box set of vinyl and CD. So watch this space.

Bridget Dakin

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So why no Barney, Hooky.....people who are of that era?

What concerns me is that once again the "fame factor" takes over.

How can people who weren't there judge the authenticity......or as Paul Calf says, 'have I set myself up with a false opposition'????

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Would Richard Searling...Ian Levine be in invited to a film about "Madchester" man;....would they be interested.......?

Probably not as they don't have the reach in a wider market that would be interested, Shane Meadows was rumoured to be there too, why was here there... It's called marketing and pr.

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So why no Barney, Hooky.....people who are of that era?

What concerns me is that once again the "fame factor" takes over.

How can people who weren't there judge the authenticity......or as Paul Calf says, 'have I set myself up with a false opposition'????

It's a preview of a film. I got to see the first Rocky in Philly (thought it was crap, lol) but they didn't ask to see my left uppercut on the door

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So why no Barney, Hooky.....people who are of that era?

What concerns me is that once again the "fame factor" takes over.

How can people who weren't there judge the authenticity......or as Paul Calf says, 'have I set myself up with a false opposition'????

Was judging authenticity part of the criteria for attending or indeed viewing the film in the future? If so I'm fooked then as I only went to the last Wigan. If your famous but of that era you're ok to be to be invited? It's a film, a product to be viewed and hopefully enjoyed by a wide audience.

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Here we go, oldies brigade getting onto this and being negative as per when they havent even sampled

Not even seen it myself - passed my ticket onto gary as down south this week

its about the music aint it... dont worry about what others are doing... do what you wanna do and above all, keep digging

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Was judging authenticity part of the criteria for attending or indeed viewing the film in the future? If so I'm fooked then as I only went to the last Wigan. If your famous but of that era you're ok to be to be invited? It's a film, a product to be viewed and hopefully enjoyed by a wide audience.

If so, period drama's would be a waste of time. 

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