Blog Directory CineVerse: A Street worth singing about

A Street worth singing about

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Last week, our CineVerse film discussion group took a trip to Sing Street, a 2016 coming-of-age film set and shot in Ireland and featuring a variety of eighties pop tunes and original songs. Here’s a recap of our major discussion points (to hear a recording of our group chat, click here).

What did you find memorable, satisfying, unexpected, or distinctive about Sing Street?

  • It’s a modern movie musical in which the characters don’t burst into song like they would in a classic musical. Sing Street is both a jukebox musical in which many of the songs are popular tunes, not just original music, and a backstage musical wherein the plot is set in a theatrical context that focuses on a production, in this case, the creation of music videos.
  • It also boasts a wonderful period-authentic soundtrack of early- to mid-80s pop music.
  • It provides an intimate look at a dysfunctional family through the eyes of a sensitive teenager but defuses the tension with humor and brotherly rapport.
  • It’s a coming-of-age story that feels more authentic because it’s autobiographical, retelling the tale of the director’s adolescence in Dublin in the mid-1980s.

Major themes

  • Feeling trapped and trying to escape from it.
  • Conor finds escape from his troubled home life and confining school scene by pursuing music and the girl of his dreams.
  • Raphina seeks to run away with a lover to London.
  • Conor’s mother is stuck in an unhappy, loveless marriage until she finds someone else.
  • Conor’s brother Brendan has the reputation of the town stoner dropout who may never break away from his stifling hometown.
  • Even Conor’s bully finds a pressure release valve from his dysfunctional family by becoming the band’s roadie.
  • The power of music and self-expression. Conor and his friends find, in music, an outlet for their angst and frustration, and a means to impress the opposite sex, mature, and expand their identities. Like the increasingly complex music they are introduced to, Conor and his bandmates broaden their artistry, as reflected in more impressive songcraft and fashion sensibilities.
  • The importance of mentorship. Conor’s life changes when his brother inspires him to think differently, appreciate music and music videos as a worthy art form, and dare to be different creatively. The filmmakers devote Sing Street to “brothers everywhere.”

Similar works

  • The Commitments
  • Hearts Beat Loud
  • Almost Famous
  • School of Rock
  • Blinded by the Light
  • Good Vibrations
  • Nowhere Boy
  • Footloose
  • That Thing You Do
  • Saturday Night Fever

Other films by John Carney

  • Once
  • Begin Again

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