There's little wonder in the working-class lives of Bill, Eileen, and their three grown daughters. They're lonely Londoners. Nadia, a cafe waitress, places personal ads, looking for love; ... See full summary »
In February 2002 in the Shamshatoo Refugee Camp in the North West Frontier Province in Pakistan, there are 53,000 refugees living in sub-human conditions since 1979 with the Soviet Union ... See full summary »
Rosie and Vincent know each other for ten years, and are married for five. She doesn't like her job, he isn't too pleased working with her dad. They're trying to have a baby. One morning ... See full summary »
Steve Coogan has been asked by The Observer to tour the country's finest restaurants, but after his girlfriend backs out on him he must take his best friend and source of eternal aggravation, Rob Brydon.
Manchester 1976: Cambridge educated Tony Wilson, Granada TV presenter, is at a Sex Pistols gig. Totally inspired by this pivotal moment in music history, he and his friends set up a record label, Factory Records, signing first Joy Division (who go on to become New Order) then James and the Happy Mondays, who all become seminal artists of their time. What ensues is a tale of music, sex, drugs, larger-than-life characters, and the birth of one of the most famous dance clubs in the world, The Hacienda - a mecca for clubbers as famous as the likes of Studio 54. Graphically depicting the music and dance heritage of Manchester from the late 70's to the early 90's, this comedy documents the vibrancy that made Mad-chester the place in the world that you would most like to be. Written by
As a nod from Tony Wilson and Factory Records, the film was given its own Factory catalog number (FAC 401). The film website is tagged as FAC 433. See more »
At the Sex Pistols concert, Tony Wilson identifies one of the groups there as "Stiff Kittens, later Warsaw, later Joy Division, and finally New Order". The band never officially went by the name Stiff Kittens; they did allow it to be used on a poster for a show because they didn't have any other name they could use, but the first official name for that particular band was Warsaw. See more »
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's the latest craze sweeping the Pennines, and I've got to be honest, I'd rather be sweeping the Pennines right now.
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You may like it simply for the music. Superficially, it is a one of those things unsuitably called a "docudrama," a category that I don't quite understand.
But here's the way it is constructed. We have a fellow whose job is to show viewers around odd and interesting things. He's a character who takes on a metarole in the film as our guide, sometimes within the movie and sometimes stepping out of it and speaking directly to us, using several modes.
And the subject of this carefully folded structure? Anarchism. Music as anarchy, as specifically breaking the musical equivalent of narrative. I'm not sure that anyone can honestly like this music without making the commitment themselves. Otherwise, its a sort of perverse voyeurism, but I guess that's what drives the music business.
Winterbottom isn't a halfway kinda guy though, and you should be inclined to share anything he serves up. Here, he is back in the German new wave mode, where there is no story at all. No arc, no climax. Each event just sort of falls into the next. The camera (which takes the role of the watcher within, Tony, and the watcher without) similarly falls. To underscore this, Winterbottom has Ian Curtis hang himself in front of a TeeVee. On that is playing Herzog's Stroszek, dancing chicken and the amuck truck. Its Herzog's film with the same attitude: no narrative, a loss of narrative is the narrative or where the hole is.
After that death, incidentally, is one of the most haunting images I've seen. I do not think it is taken from another film. Children in Klan suits, some black, parade in a highly stylized 2d shot, then one carries a huge, erect Klan hat on a false color beach and tumbles.
You might consider this the male lover of "9 Songs." I do.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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