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Review: Gallagher brothers rock and brawl in ‘Oasis: Supersonic’

‘Oasis: Supersonic’
Noel, left, and Liam Gallagher in the documentary “Oasis: Supersonic.”
(Jill Furmanovsky)

In mid ‘90s Britain there was no bigger band than Oasis, featuring the brilliant and brawling brothers from Manchester, Liam and Noel Gallagher. Director Mat Whitecross channels their heady energy and sonic magic into the rock documentary “Oasis: Supersonic,” an origin story of the band that many called the greatest in the world.

Produced by “Amy” director Asif Kapadia, “Oasis: Supersonic” uses a similar approach to the Oscar-winning documentary. Key players are interviewed, but only the audio tracks are utilized, creating a cinematic oral history. The film expertly stitches together these recordings with bits and bobs of archival footage, photographs and press appearances.

Animation and visual effects by the Brewery breathe life into old photos and newspaper snippets, and editor Paul Monaghan coaxes dramatic scenes out of scraps of dodgy home videos, photos and audio, which slide by in a hazy blur, like a memory. The frenetic, ad-hoc aesthetic of the visuals complements the shaggy dog brilliance of Oasis.

Whitecross dives into the psychological underpinnings and psychic connection of the Gallagher sibling relationship, unearthing their humble beginnings in the Manchester council estates with their beloved Irish mum and exploring the tortured relationship with their abusive and estranged father. Noel and Liam are opposites and often rivals, but the singular combination of Noel’s preternaturally gifted songwriting and Liam’s magnetically cool swagger are the key elements of the Oasis magic.

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‘Oasis: Supersonic’

Running time: 2 hours, 2 minutes

Rating: R, for pervasive language and some drug material

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Playing: Opens Wednesday at ArcLight Hollywood; also Wednesday night only at ArcLight Beach Cities, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks; Art Theater, Long Beach

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