In the early 1960s self-taught electronics whizz Joe Meek amazingly produces a string of home made hit singles from his studio in his flat above a leather shop in London. His biggest success is the instrumental 'Telstar' but accusations of plagiarism delay royalties. Joe's mercurial temper causes his artists to forsake him for other labels, in particular his young lover Heinz Burt. Now in debt and after unwisely parting from his chief financier Major Banks, Joe finds himself unable to control his life. Increasingly paranoid, believing he is being bugged by rival record companies and that everybody is out to get him, the last straw comes when landlady Violet tells him she is selling the building in which he lives. Joe had once confiscated a shotgun from Heinz. Now it is dangerously close at hand and about to end the Joe Meek story. Written by
don @ minifie-1
British films made by people like Richard Curtis (The Boat that Rocked et al) tend to look at the swinging 60's of London with heavily rose tinted spectacles. All pimms, waistcoats, flower power and crazy shenanigans. All very well but not much to do with reality - I thought Austin Powers would have killed that off in the 90's....which is why Nick Moran's directorial debut is such a breath of fresh air.
For those that don't know the Joe Meek at the centre of this film - control freak, gay in the wrong decade, tone deaf drug addicted musical pioneer - get ready for a roller-coaster of a ride. Without wishing to spoil the arc of the story, this is a classic tale of a man with a vision breaking new ground...with disastrous consequences.
Con O'Neil dominates this film with a superb manic performance which captures the claustrophobic and chaotic feel of the centre of Joe's universe, his recording studio above a handbag shop in central London in the early 60's. Ably supported by a host of good actors - in particular Kevin Spacey, Pam Ferris, and (even) James Cordon are all spot on. What looks like a cod-60's Curtis-esquire disaster for the first 20 minutes heads somewhere altogether darker once the action cranks up as Joe starts to get some no.1 hits in the charts.
A must watch cautionary tale about fame, love, jealously, paranoia and music, this is a fine carachter piece with some excellent nuanced comedy amidst the darker elements, it's a really well executed debut from Mr Moran...enjoy.
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