• 2018
  • UK
  • Directed by: Brian Welsh
  • Cast: Martin Donaghy, Laura Fraser, Rachel Jackson |
  • UK release: 17 May 2019

Johnno (Ortega) and Spanner (Macdonald) are teenagers who plan to go to an illegal rave. The set-up betrays the film’s origins in screenwriter Hurley’s own play, and there’s nothing about the setting that merits the arty black & white photography, but it’s one of the few films that manages to successfully put on screen the ecstasy of a mid-90s rave.

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Reviews & features

Brian Welsh on Beats: 'This a story about being young, it's relevant to then but it's also relevant to what's happening now'

13 Mar 2019

Playwright Kieran Hurley and film director Welsh discuss the Scottish rave movie

As if inventing penicillin was not enough, Scots gave the world one huge shot in the arm through the pioneering of rave culture in the 1990s. Originally performed at Glasgow's Arches Theatre, Kieran Hurley's play Beats captures a dynamic experience of…


3 Mar 20194 stars

GFF 2019: A mid-90s rave is brought ecstatically to the screen in this adaptation of Kieran Hurley's play

It's a virtual truism that both nightclubs and raves look terrible on film. That notion ends with Beats, which features a mid-90s rave so ecstatically evoked that it seems to blow a hole in the screen. Adapted by Kieran Hurley from his own play…

JD Twitch on forming anti-fascism label: 'I wasn't prepared to bury my head in the sand'

4 Feb 2019

Glasgow club legend Keith McIvor talks about supervising the music for Beats and why he's taking a stand against the far right with his new recording venture

'I do believe music can change things, or at the very least inspire,' says Keith McIvor, aka JD Twitch, of Glasgow's defining club night, DJ duo, alternative electronic label and underground way of life of the last 20 years, Optimo. 'Music is a powerful…

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