“ Genre: Comedy / Theatrical Release: 2002 / Director: Michael Winterbottom / Actors: Steve Coogan, John Thomson ... / DVD released 21 January, 2003 at MGM / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC „
* Prices may differ from that shown
24 Hour Party People chronicles the rise and fall of Tony Wilson's Factory Records through fact, urban legend, myth, rumours and writer Frank Conttrell Boyce's brain stem. Wilson is played by the wonder that is Steve Coogan who portrays Wilson perfectly. Find original material of Wilson on So It Goes and play it along side the Coogan performance and the accuracy of his portrayal is astounding.
Factory Records signed the likes of Joy Division who became New Order, The Happy Monday's, The Durutti Column. The label was renowned for running in a slightly, well completely, unorthodox manner, where the artists had full control of their music: the producer (Wilson) and the band had the right to 'f**k off at any moment'. There was no contract signed by any acts but the film does air the myth that Tony Wilson wrote a contract in his own blood which he made them sign. Rumour completely but as Wilson says in the film: "when you have to choose between the truth and the legend, print the legend".
There are some amazing facts that you find throughout the dramatisation such as the fact New Order never made any money with Factory. Blue Monday cost so much to print the Vinyl cover they lost a percentage on every record they sold: a big thing for the most popular record of all time. Most of New Order's money towards the end went into The Hacienda, another money hole where no profit could be garnered.
Despite all these monetary problems the film shows just how much these people loved the music and the Madchester scene. It shows a love affair with Manchester, showing its ups and downs. It captures the madness of a label that had no idea what it was really doing but just always managed to stay afloat and acting with pure artistry that was never brought down by big time producers and fat cats after money: what other label would allow one of their artist to put a record in a sandpaper vinyl cover, thereby scratching the record as soon as you take it out?
A film in postmodern battering the fourth wall. A delight to the senses and emotionally very stirring: it's beautiful.
24 Hour Party People tells the story of Factory Records the record label that was created by Tony Wilson and for twenty years or more had on its book some of the movers and shakers in the Manchester music scene and while Wilson is no longer with us this film by Michael Winterbottom is a nice little pastiche of some of the events and chaos that surrpunded the drug addled scene.
The film has a documentary feel to it as there are a lot of direct to camera monologues and it is an entertaining and captivating film helped in part by an excellent soundtrack featuring many of the bands on the label like Joy Division and the Happy Mondays and also a strong character performance by Steve Coogan in the role of the destructive Wilson.
It is a fascinating insight into the "Madchester" Culture scene and the birth of the ill fated Hacienda Club and while the story jumps about all over the place as it charts various segments of Wilsons life in the business which includes a number of failed marriages and issues with drugs it is still easy to follow what is happening as Wilson talks directly to camera to explain his take on events.
This is a great British film and one that charts an important part of the history of the UK music scene which also gave birth to such greats as The Stone Roses and out of Joy Division came New Order. Great film and one that is well worth seeing.
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
During the 1970s up until the mid 1990s, Manchester really was the place to be for hip upcoming bands, many of whom eventually signed with Factory Records, who was headed by Tony Wilson, who died about two years ago. Michael Winterbottom's film, 24 Hour Party People, gives a mesmerising account of a few snippets of those years, with a magnficent central performance by Steve Coogan.
The film is an inventive mix of numerous accounts of what happened during those times; the film has no pretensions to accuracy or faithfulness to the events, and deliberately exaggerates and simply lies for the sake of humour and dramatic purposes. Steve Coogan, who plays Wilson himself, also speaks to the audience at numerous points, offering his own frequently hilarious two cents on what is going on.
This is a film difficult to summarise plot-wise, because it's all over the place (and I mean that sincerely). Mainly, it comprises of Wilson trying to keep his acts, including New Order, Joy Division and even The Happy Mondays, happy, while trying to perpetuate his own self-consciously cool image. Winterbottom's direction in particular is very memorable and effective, evoking the period with great clarity.
If you have any interest at all in the Manchester music scene from the 70s to the 90s, this is a great film. It's both extremely interesting if you want to learn about that period, and also has a dark humour about it that works so well. Coogan is superb in the lead role, and the particular praise must be given to the excellent soundtrack, featuring the likes of New Order and Joy Division, among many others.
This is a fantastic film it is so original and shot in such a different way that when I first saw it I was absolutely blown away by the quality of the film making. Now owning the DVD I have to say the script and acting are perfect foils for Michael Winterbottoms incisive and fantastic film making.
This film is an unusual biopic of the Madchester scene characterised by Joy Division, the Smiths, New Order and the Stone Roses. Tony Wilson was a television presenter on Granada tv, overwhelmed by a television appearance by the Sex Pistols he began to show punk acts on his show, and booking bands for new wave nights in Manchester City Centre. He created the Factory nightclub and Factory Records as a riposte to the London music scene which he believed was exclusive and not accepting of Northern acts.
The film follows the rise of Joy Division which made Factory a nationwide name, however at the height of their fame the lead singer Ian Curtis kills himself. The film then follows New Order who form from the remnants of Joy Division and Wilson's opening of an enormous nightclub 'The Hacienda' which would revitalise clubbing in the UK.
We see the rise of Happy Mondays and the Stone Roses, we see the club scene explode and then dissolve into a pit of drugs and violence, throughout this Wilson maintains his phlegmatic sense of humour and his commentary to camera throughout the film is one of its major highlights.
Steve Coogan is wonderful as Wilson, he brings a real sense of the grandeur and arrogance that the real Tony Wilson had allied to the slightly ridiculous personality he developed, he is an ideas man who you just know will fail at some point. I always felt that a small part of Alan Partridge was based on the real Tony Wilson and therefore Coogan is the perfect man to bring this character to life, there are fine performances from lots of familiar faces as members of the bands of the time.
The film covers an awful lot and the visual style is superb with characters talking to camera, the script is witty and well thought out, it really does reward viewers, some band members are a tad two dimensional but the overall feeling is that this is a realistic and thoughtful take on a larger than life legend in his own lifetime.
The film is brilliantly evocative of an era, with exceptional music, brilliant acting and some great performances with fantastic cameo's too. The film is charming, witty and really does hit the target all through the film.
Steve Coogan ... Tony Wilson
John Thomson ... Charles
Nigel Pivaro ... Actor at Granada
Lennie James ... Alan
Shirley Henderson ... Lindsay
Martin Hancock ... Howard
Mark Windows ... Johnny Rotten
Paddy Considine ... Rob
John Simm ... Bernard
Ralf Little ... Hooky
Dave Gorman ... John the Postman
Andy Serkis ... Martin
Danny Cunningham ... Shaun
Paul Popplewell ... Paul
Ron Cook ... Derek
The two disc dvd is available for £3.99 on Play.com and includes the following special features:
* Tony Wilson commentary
* Commentary with Steve Coogan and Andrew Eaton
* Artists' commentary from Peter Hook, Rowetta, Leroy Richardson, Bruce Mitchell, Miranda Sawyer, Bobby Langley and Martin Moscrop
* Sleeve notes
* 'White Rabbit' style guide
* 24 deleted scenes
* 'Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches' documentary (47 minutes long)
* 'Portrait of a Filmaker' documentary (23 minutes long)
* Peter Saville gallery
* New Order music video 'Here to Stay'
This film charts the history of Factory records from its early stages in the 80's to the heady Mad-chester days of the early 90's.
The film is told by Tony Wilson, played brilliantly by Steve Coogan. He tells us how being at the first Sex Pistols gig in Manchester gave him a vision of bringing real music to the people of Manchester under the guise of Factory Records. It also shows the inception of Joy Division and details the tragic suicide of their lead singer Ian Curtis. Joy Division went on to become New Order and it was at this time that The Happy Mondays came onto the scene. The film profiles both of these bands and shows the rise and fall of the Hacienda nightclub in Manchester which became a Mecca-like place for the fans.
The film may have glamorised some of the details however the basic story is in there somewhere. It is laugh out loud funny in some places but touches the darker side on occasions, especially when Curtis' death is realised. The cast is amazing with a whole host of British talent including John Simm, Ralf Little, Peter Kay, John Thomson, Paddy Considine, Keith Allen and so many more. Coogan's interpretation of Wilson is spot on and Sean Harris is excellent as the detached Curtis. Danny Cunningham's portrayal of Shaun Ryder is also very well observed! There are also a few cameos from Tony Wilson, Paul Ryder and Rowetta from the Mondays and other iconic names from the Manchester music scene.
If your a fan of these bands, then this is the film for you. It is also very interesting to see how a small club night Factory used to put on became maybe the most famous club in England at the time (Hacienda) and how it all came to an abrupt end. The soundtrack is superb with hits from the Mondays, New Order and Joy Division. I'm not old enough to remember these times but this film shows what a great time it would have been even if it was a bit chaotic!
I bought this in tesco for about £4 a couple of years ago after seeing it in the cinema when it was originally reelased.
Its a film that doucments the rise of the 'Madchester' scene during the 80's and early 90's, specifically through the eyes of Tony Wilson, the man behind Factory Records and the Hacienda. The film is based on the true story of bands such as Joy Divsion and Happy Mondays, but as Wilson wrly observes in the film ' If you can choose between truth and legend, print the legend'.
Steve Coogan plays Tony Wilson, and indeed has based his most famous character, Alan Partridge, partly on Wilson. Its a really fun and interesting movie, focusing on the most iconic moments in the 'madchester' era, and the film manages to convey the mood and excitment of the period prefectly. It can be said that its focuses heavily on Fcatory records bands, with hardly no mention of th Smiths and later the Stone Roses, but its hard to criticise this, when the film so happily highlights all the mistakes and turmoil between the main protagonists.
The music in the film is obiouusly fantastic with some clever editing of actual footage with scenes from the film, notably the fist ever Sex Pistols gig in Manchester.
Documenting a whole musical movement in such a short space of time can be probematic, but 24hr party people manages to tell the story at a good pace, and there's plemty of humour and apparances from well known British actors to keep things ticking along. If you don't know much about the 'madchester' era, this is the perfrect film to watch, and if you know quite a bit anyway, its still worth a watch for the music and the unabashed celebration of sex, drugs and rock and roll!
*** Synopsis ***
Based on true events, the film charts the professional and - to a certain extent - private life of Tony Wilson, a Manchester TV-journalist-cum-record-producer and club owner who created the city's legendary Hacienda, which many people consider to be the cradle of British rave culture.
The action commences in 1976. Wilson, when not busy hang-gliding or interviewing pensioners in his day job on 'Granada Reports', moonlights as an organiser of rock/punk music nights in the city. We, the viewers, are made privy to a 'legendary' Sex Pistols gig, attended by just 42 people, many of whom will later on become successful musicians in their own right. Wilson uses his contacts to seek out new venues and acts and pretty soon his reputation on the Manchester music scene has started to grow. In what is possibly one of the best - and most foolishly implemented - decisions of his career he signs Joy Division, writing a contract in his own blood.
As the years pass and the scene develops and changes, Wilson launches regular music nights, a label, 'Factory Records', and eventually the Hacienda nightclub. Times they are a' changin' - the punters now worship the DJ, the medium, rather than the musicians. Wilson has spotted this and is riding on the crest of a rave wave. So far so good, but his finances are nowhere near as healthy as record and ticket sales might suggest - in fact, the club is almost permanently running at a loss, with only the success of Joy Division (now minus Ian Curtis and renamed New Order) keeping Wilson's head above water. The problem is not only that early 1990s clubbers are spending their cash on Ecstasy outside the club rather than beer inside, but that drug barons and related criminals are moving in on the Hacienda and it risks being shut down. Add to that Wilson's latest big project, the out-of-control Happy Mondays, who end up being almost as much as a liability as the Hacienda itself, as well as the fact that the journalist must swallow his pride and present 'Wheel of Fortune' to keep the cash rolling in, and it seems that Wilson has his work cut out to salvage what he can of his life's achievements - and his reputation.
*** Style ***
The film looks as dark and murky as the disused factories and canal-side warehouses where Wilson's club nights are held, but is lit up by the bright neon lights and colourful outfits of rave culture towards the end. The action is spliced with original footage of up-and-coming bands who later went on to become megastars, which really gives the viewer a sense of being party to history in the making. Original material from Wilson's Granada news broadcasts is also used, adding a sense of time passing, so we go from his reports about the Winter of Discontent and the undertakers' strike in late 1970s Liverpool to the rise of gangland violence and the Moss Side drug wars of the 1990s. Add to this the odd chemical-induced hallucination, a virtuoso scene filmed from a dying pigeon's point of view as it hurtles towards a concrete rooftop, plus the coloured graphics announcing years, locations and new bands, and you have multilayered image fest that keeps the viewer on their toes.
What's notable from the start is that the 'fourth wall', the boundary between the actors and the viewer, is well and truly smashed through, with Wilson's character talking to us directly. At the Sex Pistols gig, Wilson, sitting in the audience, introduces us to young men who, we are told, will later go on to fill stadia - there is then a cut to show genuine footage of said bands performing. One of the men, Howard Devoto, will later sleep with Wilson's wife, we are told. When this actually happens in a club toilet in a later scene, a middle-aged man cleaning the sinks in the background suddenly turns to the camera and says he doesn't remember that happening - it's the real Devoto. While this to-camera dialogue is not so pervasive as to be over the top, it does grate occasionally. There is a scene later on in the film where Wilson lists some of the real musicians that have appeared in cameo roles so far. He admits that one of them was cut from the final version but assures us, the viewers, that it will "probably be on the DVD". This struck me as a little too clever for its own good when I was watching the film.
*** Performances ***
The entire film hangs on Steve Coogan's portrayal of Tony Wilson - he is both the narrator and the subject matter, though with false modesty he claims that everything really revolves around the music. Is Coogan playing himself to an extent? Wilson is weak when faced with the temptation of easy sex and drugs, as is Coogan if you believe the tabloid reports. The journalist is portrayed as pompous (constantly reminding people that he studied at Cambridge), cocky (the phrase "Don't you know who I am?" rears its ugly head in his interactions with Joe Public), and there is touch of Alan Partridge's pathos about him.
Over the course of the film Wilson goes from a long-haired, paisley-shirted, cravat-wearing 70s hash-smoker, to an trench coated 80s yuppie in shades, right up to a 40-something early 90s clubland mogul with a receding hairline. He likes to throw in academic quotes from William Morris and the like - even on Wheel of Fortune! - and we sense a contrast between his undoubted intelligence and his slightly facile day job - interviewing a local town crier or the region's oldest surviving canal worker (Q: "What do you remember of the canals?" A: "Very little").
He dismisses his career at Granada TV as "a hobby" - music is his real passion, he says. At the end of the film, though, he suggests it was his "civic pride" i.e. his love for Manchester than caused his downfall. But we don't really see that much of the city. Perhaps it is telling that when smoking pot overlooking the rooftops of Manchester Wilson is struck not by his love for the northern metropolis, but rather by a hallucination of God - who looks just like himself. "You're right about Mick Hucknall", God confirms, "His music's rubbish and he's a ginger".
Coogan is supported by what seems to be a 'Who's Who' of early Noughties northern acting talent. For a start, the members of Joy Division/ New Order include a rather baby-faced, pre-'Life on Mars' John Simm as Bernard Sumner and 'The Royle Family's' Ralf Little as Peter Hook. The problem for me was that I spent as much time thinking, "Oh look, it's so-and-so" as I did following the action.
With the exception of Simm, I found that many of the bigger names such as John Thomson and Peter Kay played the same old type of character that they're already known for, so we have Coogan's buddy Thomson playing a Granada TV assistant to Wilson, just like his Fat Bob to Coogan's Paul Calf or his Joe Beesley to Coogan's Alan Partridge, while Kay simply plays a younger version of his seedy Brian Potter character from 'Phoenix Nights'. There are cameos by Keith Allen, Paul Ryder and Tony Wilson himself, to name but a few, and I even recognised the lady who plays Ian Curtis' gran for all of 2 minutes!
In spite of the 'jobs for the boys' element, there are, however, some notable performances: Sean Harris's Ian Curtis comes across as more manic and tortured (though obviously less well-developed as a character) than Sam Riley's portrayal in the 2007 biopic 'Control'. Studio producer Martin Hannett (Andy Serkis) is a fearsome, medicine-swigging beast of a man with mad ideas and even wilder habits, who ends up as a kind of Elvis figure too fat to fit in his grave, or "too big for death", as Wilson muses. Shaun Ryder is also well portrayed as a childlike figure whose idiocy and lust for life is mistaken for genius.
*** Soundtrack ***
It goes without saying that this is an integral part of the film itself, capturing the essence and energy of the creative spirit that was coming out of the North West between the 1970s and 1990s, partly in reaction to the slowdown in the fortunes of the once rich region. Bands from the Buzzcocks and Sex Pistols to Durutti Column and a A Certain Ratio, though to New Order and the Mondays provide the film with its backbone: the Manchester sound.
*** Conclusion ***
All in all I found this film entertaining, with some laugh-out-loud moments, good performances and a cracking soundtrack. But more than anything it seemed an ego-trip for Tony Wilson, despite efforts to make him come across as self-deprecating. For all his bad moves and bad luck, there is little sign of the character actually learning from his mistakes. At times he is simply a poor businessman, but blames his civic pride above all else - an easy get-out in my book, especially since Wilson is more than happy to depend on money and help from London when necessary, and the music being played in the Hacienda's heyday is from Detroit and Chicago rather than the north west of England.
Love (for Manchester) tore him apart? Pull the other one.
Running time: 117 minutes
DVD features deleted scenes and commentaries.
The single disc edition is currently available on Amazon for £4.98.
I was browsing through one of my local charity shops a few months back when I noticed that they had an offer of 3 videos for 99p. I really don't mind watching videos; I know that the quality is nowhere near as good as that of DVD and Blu-Ray but for 33p a pop I don't think you can complain!
24 Hour Party People was one of the 3 videos I bought. I remember when the film came out in 2002 that I had wanted to watch it, but for whatever reason didn't get around to it.
The film is set around the life of the late Tony Wilson, his company Factory Records and the Manchester music scene of the late 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s.
Steve Coogan stars as Tony Wilson, and the cast also includes the delicious John Simm as Bernard Sumner (guitarist for Joy Division and lead singer of New Order), Ralf Little as Peter Hook (bass guitarist for Joy Division and New Order), Danny Cunningham as Shaun Ryder (lead singer for the Happy Mondays), and Sean Harris as Ian Curtis (the late lead singer of Joy Division).
The film begins in the late 1970s. Manchester is a very miserable place to be, and the UK music scene is bland and boring. That is until The Sex Pistols hit the scene and punk rock takes off in a massive way. The film uses real-life footage interspersed with acted scenes to show The Sex Pistols' first gig in Manchester in 1976, which Tony Wilson attended. I found this scene a little weird to watch; I quite like The Sex Pistols, but the dancing that the actors in the "audience" were doing was just really odd! Did people really dance like that in the 1970s? Anyway, odd dancing aside, this concert (which was attended by only 42 people!) inspired Wilson, who was working as a TV reporter for Granada television at the time, and also had his own show for the channel, "So It Goes", to start promoting concerts.
He starts to run a club night in a local nightclub, along with his first wife Lindsay (played by Shirley Henderson), Rob Gretton (the manager of Joy Division and New Order, played by Paddy Considine), and the co-founder of Factory Records Alan Erasmus (played by Lennie James). Peter Kay plays the club's owner, Don Tonay, but plays against type completely by playing a rather unlikeable character! The band Joy Division are one of the acts at this club, and Tony Wilson goes on to sign them to his label Factory Records (of a fashion; you'll have to see the film to see exactly how!) I have seen archive footage of Joy Division performing before, and I think that Sean Harris portrays Ian Curtis to a tee, even down to his very strange dance moves!
Wilson then went on to open the now infamous Hacienda nightclub in Manchester, which was closed down in 1997 due to massive debts. The nightclub used in the film is not the actual Hacienda; this has since been demolished (a disgrace in my opinion; it's a piece of rave culture history and possible the most famous nightclub the UK has ever had!) I'm absolutely gutted that i never got to go there!
Ian Curtis suffered from depression, and hanged himself at the tender age of 24. I think that the film could have done more with the character of Curtis, considering that his death was such a catalyst for everything that followed. It doesn't really make it clear that he suffered from clinical depression either and that that's what caused him to commit suicide. If you want a film about Ian Curtis then I would recommend "Control" starring Samantha Morton and Sam Riley (whose portrayal of Curtis is very accurate). I would also have liked to see much more of John Simm in this film, but mainly for the reason that I think he looks really gorgeous in it!
Danny Cunningham is very convincing as Shaun Ryder; I didn't think much of Ryder as a person before seeing this film and I think even less of him now I've seen it (although I love the music of The Happy Mondays). Chris Coghill is very convincing as Bez (the dancer and percussionist for The Happy Mondays); although much better looking, he gets his pilled-up dance moves just right! Andy Serkis is excellent as always in his role of Martin Hannett, the producer for Joy Division and The Happy Mondays, a very strange man by all accounts!
I'm really not sure what to make of Steve Coogan's portrayal of Tony Wilson. I didn't really know anything about Wilson's personal life before watching this film, having only ever seen him (prior to his death in 2007) doing "vox pops" on shows such as "100 Greatest". I don't think that this film shows him in a very good light though! He comes over as arrogant, ambitious and selfish, and not very likeable; whether this is a true reflection of the real Tony Wilson or just of Coogan's acting style I'm not sure; to be honest I always think of Alan Partridge when I see Steve Coogan, and he seemed to me to bring far too much of his most famous creation to this role.
I was only 9 years old when the second "Summer of Love" took place in the UK in 1989, so I was more interested in riding my bike than popping pills and going to the Hacienda! Though I'm sure if I'd have been old enough at the time that's exactly what I would have been doing! As I wasn't around in Manchester at the time, I don't know if this film truly reflects the place and what was happening, but if it does it looks like a really fun place to be!
The soundtrack of this film is really good; it includes tracks by Joy Division (including their most famous track, Love Will Tear Us Apart), New Order (their massive hit Blue Monday), 808 State (the fantastic Pacific State), The Clash and The Sex Pistols. One of my favourite songs from the film is the Club Mix of Hallelujah by The Happy Mondays, and this is also included on the soundtrack. I think the film and soundtrack would have been even better with some tracks from The Stone Roses, as they were also a massive part of the "Madchester" music scene.
There are many famous cameos in the film, including Tony Wilson himself (blink and you'll miss it though!) and Rowetta, the singer who impressed Simon Cowell so much on the X Factor in 2004, as a backing singer for The Happy Mondays (Rowetta was actually their backing singer for some time).
I really enjoyed the film overall; I'm very into music anyway and it was really interesting to find out about a time that I was too young to experience for myself. I don't think this film would appeal to anyone who doesn't have any knowledge or interest in this period of recent music history; and if you are offended by strong language and bare breasts then it's probably best avoided as it contains both in abundance! I really enjoyed the way the film was directed; it's very different to the usual biopic, as Wilson's character makes asides to the camera throughout to comment on what's happening. It's also really interesting to see the contrast between Wilson's life as a TV reporter for Granada, reporting on some really random and dull stuff (typical regional TV fare!) and the other side of him as a cool music impressario and nightclub owner.
The film is billed as a comedy; it does have some very comedic moments, although I would class it as more of a drama than a comedy, especially when you consider the depiction of Curtis' suicide and the reaction of those left behind. I don't feel that i learnt too much about Tony Wilson from this film, though as his character says in the film: "I'm a minor character in my own story."
Director: Michael Winterbottom (Jude, Welcome to Sarajevo)
Run time: 117 minutes
24 Hour Party people is a 2002 Movie about Manchesters music scene particularly between the years of 1976 and 1992,it centres on the story of Factory Records and in particular Tony Wilson who was an influential figure in Manchester and helped launch the careers of bands such as Joy Division ( who would later become New Order ) and the Happy Mondays, he also owned the infamous Manchester nighclub " The Hacienda" and the story goes into the problems with that club and its financial position.
The Story starts with Tony Wilson ( Steve Coogan ) in his role as a reporter for Granada Television as he does a story about hangliding, after the story he breaks the fourth wall to address the camera ( something that occurs frequently during the movie, ) we cut to Tony Wilson in attendance at a gig at the manchester Lesser free trade hall where the Sex Pistols perform which would turn out to be a very important historical event in Music as it would herald the era of Punk and also in attendance were numerous people who would go out and in the words of Wilson " Achieve great things " ( In attendance were Howard Devoto, Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle who would go on to form the Buzzcocks, Queen, Morrissey, Ian Curtis, Peter Hook and Bernard Sumner who would form Joy Division and ultimately New Order and Mick Hucknell )
As the story develops we see Wilson get more involved in the Manchester music scene by launching Factory Records who would sign ( But not officially ) bands such as Joy Division, New Order and the Happy Mondays, he would also open the infamous Hacienda nightclub which would play an integral part of Manchester being " the centre of the universe" for a period.
There are many great things about this movie that make it stand out, firstly the clever way that the actors are interspersed with actual footage of events such as the Sex Pistols concert, also alot of the actors play their parts very well ( look out for a brief role by Peter Kay ) and have you believing they are the actual person being portrayed, the script is also very funny in places ( although alot of that is in part to the portrayal of Wilson by coogan, who unfortunately does come across as Alan Partridge in places )
This movie could easily have been called Manchester the Movie and is a great way for people who may not have been around then to relive why British Music was great for a period, some of it may be dramatization, but the story is fundamentally sound and the events are easily connected with archive footage and historical events.
If you're british and like music, this really is something you should own.
I've been to see music documentaries before. I'd been told that Buena Vista Social Club was like a Latin American Spinal Tap and spent the first half hour waiting for the funny bit. But comedy definitely takes centre stage in this biopic. For me, the greatest thing about the film is that it transcends the music scene it describes. I personally can't stand The Happy Mondays or New Order, but the rampant brilliance of the film almost made me forget that (aside from moments where Sean Ryder is described as a genius, they still made me hiss derisively). Essentially, the film is a biopic of Tony Wilson, a highly-educated TV journalist who set up Factory Records in Manchester, kick-started the whole Madchester scene and is largely responsible for rave culture. Wilson is played by Alan Partridge himself, Mr Steve Coogan. Now, this caused quite a bit of criticism, as Coogan was accused of simply reprising his Alan Partridge character with longer hair. Apparently though, Alan Partridge was originally based partly on Tony Wilson, so we can give them the benefit of the doubt. Coogan narrates the whole film, sometimes in voiceover, sometimes addressing the audience directly. Yes, it's been done before, but Coogan is so at ease smashing our suspension of disbelief, and so snotty with the audience, that it feels incredibly fresh and exciting. The film opens with Tony Wilson going hang-gliding as an assignment for Granada TV. When he crashes to the ground, he addresses the viewer directly saying something like: 'This really happened, like most of what you're about to see. It's a bit of a metaphor for my career. Like Icarus. That's all I'm saying. If you get it, great. If not, that's fine too, but you should probably read more.' There follows some titles which are too lurid to actually read. I've mentioned before that people insisting on watching all the credits of a film are deeply irr
itating to cinema workers. No problems here, though. I'm fairly confident the closing credits would actually induce vomiting if you were to try and read them all. Wilson begins the film as a TV reporter with a weekly show dedicated to trying to bring punk to Manchester, following the infamous Sex Pistols gig. You know, the one that only forty people turned up to, virtually all of which proceeded to dominate the music industry for the next twenty years. Wilson sets up a club night called the Factory, promoting it with the last episodes of his weekly show. From there, he signs up Joy Division. The film lurches into deeply difficult territory as it depicts the suicide of Ian Curtis, but it is handled magnificently, with no real attempt to explain the tragedy. We are taken through the growth of the Factory, the creation of Factory Records, and the movement of the club night to the Hacienda, and the birth of rave culture, with all the drug-related problems that brought with it. Even when going bankrupt and being shot at by manic depressive musicians, Wilson is still an immensely entertaining character. The sex, the drugs, the rock n' roll are all present and correct. Numerous incidents that have passed into music mythology are re-created. Sean Ryder and accomplice killing three thousand pigeons with poisoned breadcrumbs (Coogan delivers another deadpan gem as he assures the audience no pigeons were harmed in the making of the film, then adds, 'But some might say, you know, rats with wings. Just think about it.'); the massive Caribbean bender undertaken by the Happy Mondays to record an album, which was eventually delivered without any vocals whatsoever. The Sex Pistols gig, Ian Curtis's suicide, it's all here in flamboyant form. And if Curtis's death is treated with due respect, Wilson's producer's is most certainly not, as they have to widen his grave. The 'too big for death' line is utte
rly tasteless in the best possible way. If you want to get up to speed on the Manchester music scene, this film tells you just about all you really need to know. Towards the end, things start getting really crazy, however. Following a brilliant climax in which Coogan resists a buyout of Factory Records by revealing the contract which states that he doesn't own any of the rights to his artists' songs, the main cast retires to the roof of the office and smoke some industrial strength hash (drugs are wrong, kids). In a fantastically goofy scene, God (also played by Steve Coogan) appears to Wilson and congratulates him on his career (You were basically right. Shame you didn't sign the Smiths but you were bang on about Mick Hucknall). The naturalistic feel of the dialogue as Wilson relates his experience to his friends gives the moment extra charm. Other reasons to watch this film? Well, you get to see a vast number of cameos from the real people involved in the events narrated. The real Tony Wilson pops up, as does Mani (formerly of the Stone Roses) and loads of other people. Potential legal action is averted amusingly as a man with whom Wilson's wife allegedly had sex makes a cameo to refute the allegation. Basically, this film is Spinal Tap for post-modernists, and still manages to contain several scenes of utter brilliance thanks to Steve Coogan's almost infinite comic ability. The final club night at the Hacienda ends with Wilson exhorting his young loved-up disciples to loot his offices in a final act of defiance at the receivers waiting outside to close him down. Wilson's determination not to be beaten by anyone is a constant source of entertainment. On the downside, the film is probably a little too long, and, well, stupid people won't like Coogan's narration style. As I've mentioned, I also don't like most of the bands that are featured, which probably doesn't help too
much. However, when all is said and done, even if you've never heard of Factory Records, or even the Happy Mondays, the fact remains that this is one of the maddest films you'll see all year. Brilliantly funny, and occasionally moving.
During the late eighties/early nineties the music scene was mixed with loads of crap techno pop, Manchester was producing some of the best british music with Factory Records being at the forefront. 24 Hour Party People tells the story of the Madchester scene and Factory's spectacular decline into oblivion. All of it is told through the eyes of Factory supremo Tony Wilson (Steve Coogan). Factory was the label that released records from Joy Division, New Order and The Happy Mondays. Unlike most labels they had a contract where the record company split profits 50/50 with artists and no one was actually contracted to the label. This lead to some major business problems. For example New Orders 'Blue Monday' was released in some nifty packaging which meant that Factory lost money on every record before it was even sold. Wilson's thinking was that it wouldn't sell much anyway, history now shows the record as being on of the best selling 12"'s with 140,000 copies shifted. Factory were also behind 'The Hacienda' nightclub which was always packed in the height of the music scene but no money was made because no one drank, they just gave their money to the drug dealers instead. Micheal Winterbottom's film is part documentary/part comedy and works very well indeed. Tony Wilson is an absurd character in real life and Coogan plays him brilliantly. Some would even say that part of Alan Partridge is actually modelled on Wilson. There are many comic moments throughout such as Wilson's sexual encounter in the back of a van through to his many clashes with erratic producer Martin Hannet (Andy Serkis). Winterbottom plays out the whole film through Wilson and even goes as far as having Wilson give direct addresses to the audience. This is all intercut with Wilson's dayjob as a local TV reporter complete with pointless news items such as a dwarf who cleans elephants. Winterbottom shoots the film in Digital Video
and it works, there wasn't a time when I actually noticed I was watching something not shot on film. That's because the story holds your attention all the way through and juggles characters equally. My only negative point would be that the film doesn't really sell how big the music scene had become across the country and in the press etc. The Factory decline is spectacular but perhaps more so if you saw the amount of money that could have been made if things were actually run in a proper way. This is a film I'd definitely reccomend watching or even buying on DVD as there's some great bonus stuff and this is one of those films that I could easily watch again as it works on a number of levels.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Manchester bands such as Joy Division, New Order, and the Happy Mondays roared into prominence and helped shove disco, hippie rock, and glam into their musical graves. Continuing the spirit of innovation, England's second city then gave birth, in the mid-80s, to the enduring phenomenon of dance clubs and the ecstasy-laden rave scene. 24 Hour Party People tells the spectacularly wild sex, drugs, and 'rock n roll' tale of this golden age of youth culture through the eyes of its unlikely patron; a disgruntled television journalist by the name of Tony Wilson (Steve Coogan). Despite his Cambridge education and sincere desire to leave his journalistic mark, Tony's been relegated by his employer to covering banal human-interest stories. After entertaining television viewers by crashing a hang-glider into a paddock, and interviewing the world?s shortest elephant keeper, Tony decides to seek his professional fulfilment through his own entrepreneurial activities. It all begins at a Sex Pistols pub gig and ends ten years later with the stunning demise of his chaotically successful record label, Factory Records, and his world famous rave venue, the Hacienda. As much as it's Tony's story, 24 Hour Party People is all about the music of the times. The soundtrack blisters along almost constantly to the sounds of the Sex Pistols, Joy Division, New Order, Siouxsie & The Banshees, the Buzzcocks, the Happy Mondays, 808 State, and A Guy Called Gerald. Fans of the music will be spellbound, and will no doubt be compelled to purchase the soundtrack. In the role of Tony Wilson, Steve Coogan, who?s known mostly as a comedian, is placed under enormous pressure. Not only does he have to convincingly portray an enigmatic and multi-faceted character on screen for the lion?s share of the film's 115 minutes, he's also subject to a ready-made litmus test. The real Tony Wilson is well known and still
appears on television in the U.K. From all accounts, Coogan mimics Wilson extremely well, and provides an enormous amount of comic relief during the film. However, in some of the film's more serious moments, he appears unable to convey the necessary depth of emotion. The cast of 24 Hour Party People is large. After all, it has to contain the absolute cavalcade of famous music industry personnel that wandered in and out of Factory Records and the Hacienda over the course of a hyperactive decade. As well as by some interesting cameo appearances by the Happy Monday's Paul Ryder and the Buzzcock's Howard Devoto, the viewer's attention is captured by an outstanding performance by actor Sean Harris. As Joy Division's deeply disturbed frontman, Ian Curtis, Harris is mesmerizing. His ability to convey the intensity of Curtis's on and off-stage persona is nothing short of superb. 24 Hour Party People was poorer for his absence when Curtis's time in the story ended. Director, Michael Winterbottom (The Claim, Wonderland) excels in as far as his work is not noticed to the detriment of the film. Many of his 'arthouse' techniques are to film?s advantage. Tony Wilson?s life is wild and disorganised. Accordingly, Winterbottom's use of digital video and radio microphones gives the film an appropriate anarchic feel. Despite a lagging later half, as far as story pacing is concerned, 24 Hour Party People is a success for Winterbottom and his filmmaking team. 24 Hour Party People is a roaring good ride right through the middle of some very interesting times. A comedy with a docu-drama feel, this film will be of interest to most people over the age of 18. For fans of the music, and for those who just love a great sex, drugs, and rock n roll story, the film is a must see. For the soundtrack alone, 24 Hour Party People gets four out of five stars.
'24 Hour Party People' is an irreverent look at a time when Manchester was the centre of the musical universe. Our guide through the murky drug-fuelled hedonistic landscape is pretentious television presenter Tony Wilson. For all his overall twattiness nobody can take away the fact that he helped bring into the world bands like 'Joy Division', 'New Order' and 'The Happy Mondays' and built a world famous nightspot 'The Hacienda'. Comedian Steve Coogan plays Wilson with equal amounts of genius, stupidity and egotism. Director Michael Winterbottom's immensely pleasurable and often wildly inventive film is fast paced and filled with brilliant performances largely from a cast of unknowns and manages to immerse the viewer in the mad, mad, mad world of the music business and punk rock business aesthetics. Tony Wilson was a Cambridge university educated regional television presenter with aspirations to enter the music business after seeing 'The Sex Pistols' live at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester in 1976. Gathering some friends; Alan Erasmus, Rob Gretton (an ex-football hooligan who went on not only to manage Joy Division but also New Order) and Martin Hannett to create 'Factory'. At first it is little more than a nightclub in Hulme but their empire grows and slowly collapses due to Wilson's questionable business skills (The New Order single 'Blue Monday' despite being the biggest 12inch single of all time managed to lose Factory money). Wilson refuses to play by the rules of the commercial music industry and in doing so he managed to put Manchester and its truly remarkable bands on the music map of the world. The film charts the rise and fall and often spinning the truth of what really took place. Coogan does a spot on impression of Wilson and is forever quoting philosophers, poets and writers. Michael Winterbottom gets Coogan to talk to the camera and t
he audience often commenting on the scene that is taking place. My favourite line in the entire film is when Coogan describes Shaun Ryder (Happy Monday's chemical fiend and vocalist) 'The greatest poet since W.B. Yeats'. Wilson's wife replies that most people think Ryder is 'a fucking dickhead'. It is this devotion to the bands that make Wilson likeable and quite heroic in the face of collapsing finance and friendships. Whilst everyone was complaining about money, Wilson was determined not to lose sight of the original reason for setting up Factory, it was not about money but music. There is so much going on in the film that is difficult to tell the reader everything. To summarise it is basically telling three stories with lots of little sub plots in-between. Firstly there is Tony Wilson's rise and fall, secondly Ian Curtis and Joy Division and lastly 'The Happy Mondays. From Punk to Rave basically. The film is full of excellent dialogue filled with spite and hatred towards Wilson but like his first wife Lindsay Reade (Shirley Henderson) says 'He doesn't care what they say about him has long as they are talking about him'. When he complains to the head of Granada he says with deadly seriousness 'I went to Cambridge University and I'm a serious fucking journalist' queue a scene where he's interviewing a midget who cleans the elephants at Chester Zoo. It shows that Wilson was never taken seriously, he comes off as pretentious quite a lot during the film. The acting is brilliant including an ace cameo from Peter Kay, who whilst he and Wilson get it on with a pair of prostitutes he say's 'Put this on your television show'. Steve Coogan delivers a great performance that is part Wilson and part Alan Partridge, watch Coogan's face when he hears about the suicide of Ian Curtis, its a great piece of acting. Sean Harris throws himself into the ro
le of Ian Curtis and Paddy Considine as Rob Gretton is funny and vicious. The scenes when he tries to kill Wilson are incredibly funny. Danny Cunningham as Shaun Ryder is spooky, not only managing to imitate him down to a tee but making him a truly idiotic character. Andy Serkis as Martin Hannett is fabulous when he tells Wilson 'I'm a genius and you're a cunt'. John Simm playing Barney Sumner, Ralf Little playing Peter Hook and the others are not given much to do. The cinematography courtesy of German Robby Muller who usually works with Wim Wenders and Lars von Trier makes Manchester look alien and haunting in equal measure. The often handheld camera style makes the film feel alive and gritty whilst bordering on a work of fiction 'Situations and Dialogue was changed to protect the guilty'. There are bones of contention when dealing with the nature of truth. Like Wilson/Coogan says at the beginning of the film; 'When there's a choice between printing the truth and the legend, print the legend'. The film is about capturing the times rather than offering a truth depiction of events. The soundtrack from many of the Manchester bands is nostalgic but also highlights how much genius was floating around. Wilson and his gang managed to make the world envious of Manchester (think about it). Manchester is now an international musical force to rival New York, L.A. and quite frankly pisses all over London. Manchester is a great city and has produced some of the best bands in the world. 'The Stone Roses', 'The Smiths', 'New Order', 'Oasis', 'Joy Division', 'Badly Drawn Boy' and 'Doves' are just a few I can think of. '24 Hour Party People' is a funny film that cements the reputation of Wilson and the other characters whilst it confirms absolutely nothing. In other words its 'fiction with a hint of truth'.
Running Time: 1 hr 52 mins Cert: 18 DVD EXTRAS Audio Commentary with Tony Wilson (absolutely brilliant and very funny) Audio Commentary with Steve Coogan and Andrew Eaton (boring) Interviews with various people from the era (worth watching) 24 deleted scenes (some are excellent Theatrical Trailer (quite cool and sets the irreverent tone of the film) New Order video (I like this song and the video is not a bad effort) Disc two: Commentary from Peter Hook, Rowetta and Martin Moscrop (interesting due to Peter Hook slagging off Wilson, Coogan and Ralf Little) Portrait of a Filmmaker: Michael Winterbottom (totally pretentious French made documentary.) Peter Saville Gallery (only for die hards who liked Factory's unique and minimalist sleeve designs)
24 Hour Party People (Strapline: How Manchester Became Great) is the true(ish) story of how Manchester became one of the coolest places in the universe. It takes us from the punk years, through the creation of Factory Records, through the life and times of the (in)famous Hacienda and the Madchester phenomenon. It is a superb British movie. At the centre of the film is Tony Wilson (played by Steve Coogan), presenter of Granada local news programmes, music enthusiast, trend vulture, founder-partner of Factory Records and the Hacienda. Wilson is a strange and fascinating mixture: clean-cut though remarkably erudite presenter by day, bringing us features on ducks that can round up sheep and the oldest canal-worker in Manchester as well as the news, and unspeakably fashionable clubber, gigger, drug-dabbler and chance-spotter by night. He is a self-styled hero, an egomaniac, an intellectual name-dropper, and, conversely, a man with a decent line in self-deprecation and humour. As such, he is the perfect anchor for this frenetic movie. After a shot of Wilson hang-gliding and crashing unceremoniously for Granada Reports (which we are told in a talk-to-camera piece by Wilson is symbolic of what is to come: "I have one word for you: Icarus. If you get it, great. If you don't, it doesn't matter."), we move to the first Sex Pistols gig in Manchester. Here we observe some of the characters who are to become pivotal in Manchester's cultural renaissance: Rob Gretton (played by Paddy Considine): Joy Division and New Order manager, partner in Factory and the Hacienda. Lindsay Wilson (played by Shirley Henderson): Wilson's wife, huge influence on the setting up of Factory. Martin Hannett (played by Andy Serkis): Genius producer, Factory partner, excessive nutcase. Ian Curtis (played by Sean Harris): Lead singer of legendary post-punk band Joy Division. Bernard Sumner (played by John Simm): Joy Di
vision member, New Order singer. Peter Hook (played by Ralf Little): Joy Division bassist, New Order bassist. Intercutting Wilson's TV work with Manchester's burgeoning music scene, we then begin our journey through punk and rave, sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll and business. The film is deliberately chaotic, and as fast-paced as the music it celebrates. And what music! Along the way we get to see and hear The Sex Pistols, The Buzzcocks, The Clash, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Jam, Joy Division, A Certain Ratio, New Order and, of course, The Happy Mondays. Often, especially with the punk concerts, the film mixes real concert footage with newly-created crowd-scenes featuring the film's actors. It works brilliantly, giving the music and the era an immediacy that makes you feel as though you are discovering it for the first time all over again. In later scenes, we have Joy Division, New Order and The Happy Mondays played by actors, and these actors have been so perfectly cast that you believe they are the real people. It's hard to single out any actor in this movie, as they are all exceptional. Coogan as Wilson is spot-on, capturing his voice and gestures to a tee, and presenting him as a highly intelligent but uncomplicated mixture of bravado, insecurity and hunger. Sean Harris as Ian Curtis is amazing, filling him with a nervous ferocity, intensity and weirdness that make his eventual suicide inevitable. Other actors to note include Peter Kay as club owner Don Tonay, Lennie James as Alan Erasmus (Factory partner) and Keith Allen as a London Records representative. And Danny Cunningham as the vile and dislikeable but hugely talented rude, arrogant, unreliable and drug-addled Shaun Ryder is one of the finest performances you're likely to witness in a biopic. Adding to the reality and immediacy we have several people popping up who really were there at the t
ime: Paul Ryder (Happy Mondays bassist) and Rowetta (Happy Mondays singer), to name but two. Directed by Michael Winterbottom, the style mirrors the content of this movie. It is a jittery, fast montage of grainy realism, real archive footage and perfectly recreated set pieces. There are many talks to camera from several of the characters, often telling us what is to come next and sometimes putting a different perspective on what we have just seen by questioning its authenticity. All in all, it is a very post-modern film (and 'post-modern is a term you'll hear a lot from the lips of Wilson throughout). The real star of the film, though, is the music itself, and its presentation in chronological order, alongside the cultural changes that accompanied it, make the move from punk to rave seem a natural and necessary progression. The film is not just a celebration of the rise of Factory and the Hacienda, it is also a celebration of its fall. It offers no regrets about Factory's lack of business sense, Wilson's cocaine addiction, Curtis's suicide, the Mondays degeneration, the Hacienda's descent into drug-fuelled gangland violence and eventual closure. It merely presents us with a chance to relive one of the most exciting events in popular culture in the late 20th Century. It ends on a defiantly upbeat note, with Wilson and The Mondays coming down from ecstasy on a Manchester roof where Wilson is presented with a vision of God - looking like himself - telling him it was all ok. Conclusion ++++++++++ I LOVED this film. But then I loved punk. I was 14 in '76 and hearing it for the first time was life-changing. I LOVED Joy Division, New Order, and most of all, The Mondays. Reliving years '76 to '92 through this film was an exhilarating, nostalgic, inspiring experience. I approached the film with trepidation - it could so easily have all turned out wrong -
and left it feeling bloody fantastic. I highly recommend this film to anyone who was there, anyone who watched from afar, and anyone who wants to find out what the hell the whole Madchester thing was about. Running Time: 1 hr 55 minutes
I grew up in Manchester at a time when the Hacienda was entering its infamous period of drugs and guns, and it seemed to be forever closing down and re-opening, despite our youth everyone at school knew of the hac and was aware of its significance and influence in the music scene at the time. It was with much pride and excitement that the first club I went to when I finally come of age was the Hac, sadly it was a few months before it shut for good, but it was probably one of the best nights out I have ever had, so what it was like in its hey-day one can only imagine. It was therefore with great sadness that when discussing music and clubs with a friend four or five years my junior that I discovered that he didn't even know that the hacienda had ever exitsted, I could not believe that and indie fan such as himself had no idea where bands such as the Mondays and new order came from, so I feel that this film is an essential viewing for anyone who is into or was into the indie scene at anytime in our lives. The film itself is a good one, steve coogan plays a very believable and fairly annoying tony Wilson (or Is it Anthony H Wilson these days?) who basically guides you through the story from the sex pistols playing at the free trade hall to the closing of the hacienda around twenty years later . the other actors in the film (there are too many big names to mention, and to be honest i cant remember them all) pull off there roles very well and a spookly realistic hacienda mock up will have aged ravers like bez thinking there having some sort of flashback, it really is a superb set. As is with these sort of films you spend most of your time spotting cameo appearances. this film goes one step further in that they actually point out at the end the stars (Mark E. Smith and Paul Ryder to name but two) who had cameo roles, so you can check your score at the end and have competetions with friends if that sort of thing appeals to you You believe what you
want to believe from the film, tony Wilson collaborated so fact may not be at every corner but the legend is often more interesting anyway (as is pointed out in the film. In short I would recommend this film to all I feel it is important that we keep alive the history of modern music and where it all began just as we do the classical.
Beginning during the dawn of Factory Records--as Tony Wilson throws himself off a cliff for Granada TV--24 Hour Party People attempts to capture the essence of the ill-fated label which spawned Joy Division/New Order, The Happy Mondays and the venue that started modern Club Culture, the Hacienda in Manchester. Director Michael Winterbottom takes a very different approach to most music biographies, by making the film self-aware that it is a film and ironically looking at its own role within the history of the "Mad-chester" scene. Inspired by Wilson's autobiographical musings, the film is narrated in character by Steve Coogan as Wilson. He offers sporadic moments from his life--his "career" as a presenter at Granada and his several marriages--which in turn influence the destructive nature of the label he founded. Coogan's Wilson gives monologues to camera which remind the audience that what they are watching is only his perspective. Yet with Coogan in the title role it's impossible to ignore the similarities between Wilson and Alan Partridge; and although this adds instant humour to the film it also instantly pins Wilson with the comic "Partridge" tag of fated fool. The cinematography, on the other hand, tries faithfully to embody the feeling of the times, from grainy celluloid for the punk-like Joy Division gigs to bright, clean-cut images for the birth of the Hacienda. The film also benefits from an amazing soundtrack and strong supporting characters. It all adds up to a picture that's purely British in character: imbued with irony, down-and-out inspiration, and a touch of the surreal. On the DVD: 24 Hour Party People comes as a two-disc set, but there really is little need. Disc 1 is loaded with great extras, such as the deleted scenes, commentaries and Mad-chester musings, but the second disc is a little on the dull side. This really could have been just a single great DVD. There's an excellent screen and audio transfer that brings both the music and the lurid colours to life and the disc also offers that all-important function for hardcore clubbers: a hard of hearing option. --Nikki Disney