Movie Recommendation- 24 Hour Party People
24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE (2002)
The idea of there being a “movement” that has taken place in popular culture, usually within some niche (Hollywood in the early ‘70’s; New York City’s CBGB in the late ‘70’s), tends to arise after the fact. The players in the movement don’t realize they’re a part of something larger until the influence of their work and lives has become apparent. What also happens, though, in the process of looking back and observing this special time is certain things get exaggerated, others get conflated and a few get forgotten completely, all in the interest of molding the time into an appreciable narrative. 24 Hour Party People, directed by the chameleonic Michael Winterbottom, takes us back to one of those extended moments in time so we can watch it happen the way we want to believe it happened. Cover about 15 years in the U.K.’s Manchester rock scene, Party People is about Factory Records in general and Tony Wilson in particular, who is both the star and the narrator, often at the same time and often at odds with himself and the facts in both roles. Played hilariously by Steve Coogan, Wilson is just the kind of brash, stubborn person needed to herald a group of young visionaries into the prominence they deserve. Or perhaps that’s just how he sees himself in retrospect. It’s never clear which events are true and which aren’t but would we really want to know? All we need to know for sure is that bands like Joy Division and Happy Mondays made amazing music during this time and whether the stories behind that music are myths or truth doesn’t affect that. Factual or not, Tony Wilson’s version of events is the best one.