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
This movie is quite hyperbolic about the Manchester scene which is portrayed with so much style, energy, humor, and gutty performances, that even if you weren't a fan of Joy Division & Happy Mondays, this particular musical revolution is extolled on a par with Memphis early 50's, the whole of UK 1963-65, San Francisco 1966-67, or Austin 1972-74. I wasn't a fan of those Manchester bands, but I really enjoyed all of the music in this film. And Steve Coogan's performance and the structure of his charismatic part are wonderful. And very funny.
Like "SLC Punk" and movies like "Rude Boy" and the Sex Pistols movies, "24 Hour Party People" captures the anger of the times and incredible energy of that socio-musical upheaval, and ultimately the sadness at the inevitable passing of a bright moment in popmusic history. When Coogan/Wilson brags about the birth of the rave culture in his club in his beloved city, taking credit for another major movement, I didn't feel his pride or excitement, only that sense of sadness at the techno-evolution of punk...
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