Telstar is the true story of record producer Joe Meek, creator of a string of number 1 hits in the early 60s including ‘Telstar’, the biggest selling record of its time and the first British single ever to top the US charts. Despite his musical illiteracy, Meek went on to create the weird and wonderful recordings that earned him iconic status in the world of British pop until depression, heartbreak and paranoia ultimately led to a cataclysmic downfall.

Nick Moran’s biopic showcases a superb lead from Con O’Neill, shifting from manic enthusiasm to venomous tantrums which drive away Geoff Goddard (Tom Burke) and Major Banks (Kevin Spacey) before the final meltdown. Moran (who stars in this year’s Jameson Cult Film Club film: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels – see p.73) plays up his vampirish subject as he wrings sad comedy from Meek’s attempt to turn dim pick-up Heinz (JJ Feild) into the UK’s Elvis while rejecting The Beatles.

Kim Newman

Please note that the festival is over 18s only