Review: Los Wild Ones

Los Wild Ones
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Director: Elise Salomon
Cert: Club
Genre: Documentary
Starring: Reb Kennedy
Running Time: 1 hr 17 mins

There are few musical scenes more fanatical than the quiffed-up world of rockabilly. That culture receives a fitting tribute in this irresistible study of Wild Records, an LA label run by passionate Dubliner Reb Kennedy. In the film's busy progress we see Kennedy rooting through a heap of master tapes in the backyard, administering pastoral care to his charges and undertaking a poignant trip home.

Los Wild Ones also features stirring performances from the label's Latino-dominated stable and sharp contributions from the likes of Ferdia Mac Anna and Imelda May. The picture is, however, most notable for its touching portrayal of the company's unstoppable founder. Kennedy sprung from the DIY punk generation – snaps of him lurking about Dublin in the late 1970s will stir older hearts – and that spirit still throbs through his encounters with his performers.

The film also highlights the benign conservatism that characterises many rock enthusiasts. He has been dragged to a marginal interaction with iTunes, but can't understand why anybody would want his music on anything other than vinyl. He seeks to appeal to an audience that "would not buy Britney Spears records". He's a lovely dinosaur and all the more charming for that.

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke, a contributor to The Irish Times, is Chief Film Correspondent and a regular columnist