review by Gregory Avery, 14 July 2000

At first, Greg Harrison's film Groove flickers and fibrillates and looks like it's barely going to be able to stay on the screen for ninety minutes. But stick with it, for it has a way of growing on you.

Taking place during a hastily-organized rave (if it wasn't hastily organized, it wouldn't be one) over the course of one late night and early morning in San Francisco, the story follows several characters as they attempt to follow changing instructions on how to get there, while others try to hold the event together and keep the police from snooping around. Once everybody gets there, they loosen up, shake themselves and feel good. They also hug each other, draw pictures or write words on each other with ink that glows under black light, promote love and understanding -- gee, this sounds familiar. It may be retro, but the characters' promotion of an innocent sort of fun and enjoyment is part of the film's ultimate charm.

As is the music (supplied by several real-life dance D.J.'s, including Forest Green and John Digweed), and the subplot involving David (Hamish Linklater), a writer newly arrived in the City, and Leyla (Lola Glaudini), an office worker who is a veteran of the rave scene. They meet, they fall for each other, and you see the whole arc of their newly formed relationship -- from mutual conviviality to trepidation over change to realizing they don't want to lose a good thing, and what'll they do if they did -- unfold on the screen. It's very satisfying, and Harrison, who edited the film along with writing and directing it, achieves one extraordinary moment, the equivalent to what one character describes as when one shakes off the doldrums of everyday existence and becomes aware of being simply "alive" for once. The movie never comes close to turning into the Thank God It's Friday of rave.

Written and
Directed by:

Greg Harrison

Lola Glaudini
Hamish Linklater
Denny Kirkwood
Mackenzie Firgens
Ari Gold
Elizabeth Sun
John Digweed
Steve Van Wormer




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