Film Review by Tim Murry

“Northern Soul”

 

“If anyone can make a film about northern soul and make it work, then Elaine [Constantine] can.” So said a latter-day Northern Soul boy, one of the regulars at the 100 Club all-nighters, said to me. We had been discussing the seemingly never-ending search for the definitive fictional film about the homegrown genre that refuses to die.

I’d just ventured that I thought “they” – production companies, the British film industry and other types of that ilk – were going to keep on trying to make a northern soul film until they got it right. He’d said that Constantine’s film would be as close as it gets.

Now, a few months down the line, her debut feature film, Northern Soul, is finished, released at cinemas and arriving on DVD, Blu-ray and other formats.

And it looks like my mate was right.

 

 

 

Constantine’s film is a tribute to a bygone era, a love letter to a youth cult that grew from nowhere – working class kids fuelled by chemicals dancing all night to obscure records – one of the last genuine phenomena that developed unfettered by the press and London-centric media. But it’s not just a paean to disaffected and alienated British youth dancing to weird, wonderful and hard to find records from black America. Northern Soul’s triumph is that it works as a proper film, with a proper plot. And, better still, it doesn’t take a heavy-handed moral tone. Oh and it makes you want to go out, take drugs and dance all night. There’s little praise higher than that.

As I spoke to Constantine, teenage Northern Soul fan turned fashion photographer, and, now film director, Northern Soul was just about to arrive in cinemas and had become the biggest ever limited theatrical release film to come out in the UK, no mean feat, and was picking up plenty of interest across the country. More

 

Tim Murry

 

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