In case you haven’t yet seen Beats – a coming of age tale about two lads in Scotland in the mid 90s – stop reading this article now and book a ticket right now.
Taking its title from the infamous pledge in the UK Criminal Justice and Public Order Act to clamp down on gatherings “wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats”, it’s an incredibly acted (take a bow Lorn MacDonald) tribute to the halcyon days of rave culture.
It’s not the first movie to use club culture as its starting point, nor will it be the last. With that in mind, 909originals presents five of the best clubbing/rave scenes committed to celluloid.
[Disclaimer: Yes, there are plenty of others we could be including here; the bloodbath club scene of Blade (1998) for example. Feel free to share any of your personal favourites in the comments.]
Victoria (2015) – Berlin techno club
Backed by DJ Koze’s Burn With Me, this Berlin-based movie (shot unbelievably in one take) opens where any great Berlin-based movie should… in a heaving techno dungeon.
Sadly, the club doesn’t actually exist – it was created especially for the movie – but wander around the city’s Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg districts long enough and you’re likely to find something similar.
Human Traffic (1999) – Tom Tom’s
“Remember when this place was Tom Tom’s, man?”
One of the best clubbing films ever dives headlong into the summer of love as future The Walking Dead frontman Andrew Lincoln and clubbing compatriot recall the fictional club Tom Tom’s, circa 1991. “Oklahoma!”
Christiane F (1981) – Sound discotheque
Bleak, unforgiving, unrepentant… Berlin of the early 1980s wasn’t for the faint of heart (just ask Nick Cave), and Christiane F, based on the book Wir Kinder Von Bahnhof Zoo is not a movie suitable for a first date.
True, most of its participants might be strung out on ‘H’, but the scenes inside the legendary Sound discotheque are fantastic, around 27 minutes in.
Dublin Oldschool (2018) – Gaff party
Brilliantly acted by Emmet Kirwan and Ian Lloyd Anderson, this Dublin-based fable about brotherly love is supported by an ample supply of weekend sessions and speckled mitzis.
While the bank holiday outdoor rave is a standout moment, the part where Jason (Kirwan’s character) steps into the back room (through the wall) at the gaff party transports us right back to legendary sesh haunts such as 147 Pearse St (if you know, you know)…
Beats (2019) – Warehouse rave
In the same way that a generation of filmgoers to 2001: A Space Odyssey might have smiled knowingly at the movie’s acid-flushed conclusion, Beats’ rave scene brings back warm feelings for anyone who has ever lost their minds in a warehouse or field, somewhere in the countryside.
Bringing a splash of colour to an otherwise monochrome world, Brian Welsh and his team recruited some 2,000 extras to pack a Scottish warehouse… chemical assistance optional.
“The film absolutely depended on making that night work,” Welsh recently told The Independent. “We knew we couldn’t stop the party, so the crew would have to manoeuvre around it. It meant the energy and the trajectory of how the night went was authentic.”