24 Hour Party People

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24 Hour Party People
Twenty four hour party people po.jpg
US Theatrical poster
Directed by Michael Winterbottom
Produced by Andrew Eaton
Written by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Starring Steve Coogan
Paddy Considine
Andy Serkis
Paul Popplewell
Shirley Henderson
Lennie James
Sean Harris
Peter Kay
Cinematography Robby Müller
Edited by Trevor Waite
Production
company
Distributed by Pathé (UK)
United Artists (USA)
Release dates
  • 5 April 2002 (2002-04-05)
Running time 117 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office $2,781,211

24 Hour Party People is a 2002 British comedy-drama film about Manchester's popular music community from 1976 to 1992, and specifically about Factory Records. It was written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and directed by Michael Winterbottom.[1] The film was entered into the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.[2] It received positive reviews.

It begins with the punk rock era of the late 1970s and moves through the 1980s into the "Madchester" scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The main character is Tony Wilson (played by Steve Coogan), a news reporter for Granada Television and the head of Factory Records. The narrative largely follows his career, while also covering the major Factory artists, especially Joy Division and New Order, A Certain Ratio, The Durutti Column and Happy Mondays.

The film is a dramatisation based on a combination of real events, rumours, urban legends, and the imaginings of the scriptwriter – as the film makes clear. In one scene, one-time Buzzcocks member Howard Devoto (played by Martin Hancock) is shown having sex with Wilson's first wife in the toilets of a club; the real Devoto, an extra in the scene, turns to the camera and says, "I definitely don't remember this happening". The fourth wall is frequently broken, with Wilson (who also acts as the narrator) frequently commenting on events directly to camera as they occur, at one point declaring that he is "being postmodern, before it's fashionable". The actors are often intercut with real contemporary concert footage, including the Sex Pistols gig at the Lesser Free Trade Hall.

Plot[edit]

In Manchester 1976, television presenter Tony Wilson sees Sex Pistols perform at the Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall. Inspired, Wilson starts a weekly series of punk rock shows at a Manchester club, where the newly-formed Joy Division perform, led by the erratic, brooding Ian Curtis.

Wilson founds a record label, Factory Records, and signs Joy Division as the first band; the contract is written in Wilson's blood and gives the Factory artists full control over their music. He hires irascible producer Martin Hannett to record Joy Division, and soon the band and label have a hit record. In 1980, just before Joy Division is to tour the United States, Curtis hangs himself. Joy Division rename themselves New Order and record a hit single, "Blue Monday".

Wilson opens a nightclub, The Haçienda; business is slow at first, but eventually the club is packed each night. Wilson signs another hit band, Happy Mondays, led by Shaun Ryder, and the ecstasy-fuelled rave culture is born.

Despite the apparent success, Factory Records is losing money. Every copy of "Blue Monday" sold loses five pence, as the intricately designed packaging by Peter Saville costs more than the single's sale price. Wilson pays for New Order to record a new album in Ibiza, but after two years, they still have not delivered a record. He pays for the Happy Mondays to record their fourth studio album in Barbados, but Ryder spends all the recording money on drugs. When Wilson finally receives the finished album, he finds that Ryder has refused to record vocals, and all the tracks are instrumentals. At the Haçienda, ecstasy use is curbing alcohol sales and attracting gang violence.

The Factory partners try to save the business by selling the label to London Records but when Wilson reveals that the label does not hold binding contracts with any of its artists, the deal falls through. While smoking marijuana on the roof of Haçienda after its closing night, Wilson has a vision of God who assures Wilson he has earned a place in history.

Reception and awards[edit]

The film holds a Metacritic score of 85/100. Roger Ebert gave it four out of four stars.

The film was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.

Cast[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

24 Hour Party People
Soundtrack album by various artists
Released 9 April 2002 (2002-04-09)
Recorded 1976–2002
Genre Punk rock, post-punk, Madchester, electronica, house
Label FFRR
Producer Pete Tong
Alternative cover
US album cover

The soundtrack to 24 Hour Party People features songs by artists closely associated with Factory Records who were depicted in the film. These include Happy Mondays, Joy Division (later to become New Order) and The Durutti Column. Manchester band the Buzzcocks are featured, as are The Clash. The album begins with "Anarchy in the U.K." by the Sex Pistols, the band credited in the film with inspiring Factory Records co-founder Tony Wilson to devote himself to promoting music.

New tracks recorded for the album include Joy Division's "New Dawn Fades", from a concert performance by New Order with Moby and Billy Corgan.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[3]
Metacritic (86/100)[4]
NME (8/10)[5]
Pitchfork Media (7/10)[6]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[7]

Track list[edit]

  1. "Anarchy in the U.K." (Sex Pistols) – 3:33
  2. "24 Hour Party People (Jon Carter Mix)" (Happy Mondays) – 4:30
  3. "Transmission" (Joy Division) – 3:36
  4. "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)?" (Buzzcocks) – 2:42
  5. "Janie Jones" (The Clash) – 2:06
  6. "New Dawn Fades" (Moby and Billy Corgan with New Order) – 4:52
  7. "Atmosphere" (Joy Division) – 4:09
  8. "Otis" (The Durutti Column) – 4:16
  9. "Voodoo Ray" (A Guy Called Gerald) – 2:43
  10. "Temptation" (New Order) – 5:44
  11. "Loose Fit" (Happy Mondays) – 4:17
  12. "Pacific State" (808 State) – 3:53
  13. "Blue Monday" (New Order) – 7:30
  14. "Move Your Body" (Marshall Jefferson) – 5:15
  15. "She's Lost Control" (Joy Division) – 4:44
  16. "Hallelujah (Club Mix)" (Happy Mondays) – 5:40
  17. "Here To Stay" (New Order) – 4:58
  18. "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (Joy Division) – 3:24

Other songs in film[edit]

Several songs appear in the film but are not on the soundtrack album, including:

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2002) Peak
position
New Zealand Albums (Recorded Music NZ)[8] 48

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "24 Hour Party People". IMDb. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: 24 Hour Party People". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 24 October 2009. 
  3. ^ 24 Hour Party People at AllMusic
  4. ^ "OST Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  5. ^ "Latest Reviews from NME.com – Music Videos, CDs, Gig Reviews & More". NME.com. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Various Artists: 24 Hour Party People". Pitchforkmedia.com. 19 August 2002. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "Soundtrack – 24 Hour Party People". Charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 June 2014.

External links[edit]