The Factory Records scene, born in Manchester, England and home to acts like Joy Division and The Happy Mondays was one of the most vibrant musical movements of the 70s and 80s. English director Michael Winterbottom has documented the rise and fall of the label and its founder Tony Wilson in an interesting, but not entirely successful way in 24 Hour Party People. The film attempts to cover the years 1976 to the early 90s, the birth of punk rock to the waning moments of acid jazz but is too ambitious in its scope. Names and dates are glossed over, and while you get a sense of excitement you’re frequently left wondering what is so exciting. The film takes piercing the fourth wall to a whole new level as Steve Coogan, the English comic who plays Wilson, frequently addresses the camera with asides. “You’ll see more of that scene on the DVD,” he says at one point. Those who aren’t familiar with the Factory Records scene won’t learn much, and those who are won’t learn anything they didn’t already know. I left the theatre with the nagging feeling that this material might have been better served in documentary style, something like Julien Temple’s look at the career and influence of The Sex Pistols The Filth and the Fury.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.