24 Hour Party People

"Excellent"

24 Hour Party People Review


Like most art forms, music is complimentary, or commentary, for the age in which it is presented. Analogous to painting, the moving image, and literature -- the great arts we all lean on for sympathy and entertainment -- we find ourselves attracted to what we relate to or wish for, and end up with extra propulsion to go forward based on the experience. What better way to get a glimpse of creativity and encouragement to keep pushing forward with it than by presenting it on screen through a charismatic narrator in half-documentary, half-storytelling fashion?

This is exactly what Michael Winterbottom's 24 Hour Party People does, depicting the path of the renowned Tony Wilson, who spearheaded names like Joy Division (later to become New Order), groups which are still held as influences to today's musicians. Mixing frenetic plot with a vérité slant, we see the punk and rave movements evolve through the admirably hard-working, but ultimately self-defeating, energy with which Wilson built Factory Records.

Pulsating through various stereotypes of the time (e.g. sex and drugs) to give a glimpse of lifestyle, 24 Hour's stylistic camera works because the main focus always diverts back to the music and the people that made it happen. Of course, what makes musicians rise is having an audience, and an audience creates a "scene" which a film crew produces by its presence (a la any MTV beach party scene). Artists can be difficult and blow your money on drugs instead of finishing the vocals they were supposed to. Your studio engineer is a raging alcoholic who tries to shoot you, but he lays tracks in such a way that you're surprised the band can sound that good. Whatever the troubles or economic improbabilities, the finished product boosts your pride enough to go and do it again.

Further to the entertaining honesty with which Winterbottom holds his subject, and against the tradition of the misunderstood and alienated but brilliant artist, Tony is never shown to be angelic based on his passions: asking a hooker to finish off a blowjob after his wife has caught him in the act, or blatantly using money made from a band to cover the Hacienda's expenses. His extreme arrogance about his intelligence would push the limits of annoyance if his absolute love for what he does weren't so contagious. Neither does it hurt that his nose for talent, or upcoming popularity, appears to have been impeccable. You like him, and enjoy following his escapades, even if you can't condone his actions.

The only element difficult to keep track of is how Tony has been able to accomplish his feats. He's seen talking to a club owner into the first night gigs, and it's known he has a paying job as a television personality, but what went into the actual struggle to get the material of these bands made? Maybe it's as easy as renting recording equipment and space, or calling in favors as you do on no-budget feature films, but the actual motions of accomplishment are soon lost in the next hilarious moment of Tony luckily winning against his odds.

But luck won't pull you through everything, and 24 Hour shows the degeneration of Factory Records with the same hyper aplomb that it grants the rest of the story. So while this possibly fictionalized journey through an era may have its foundations in the music industry, there's plenty of entertainment to cross several audience boundaries.

Let's get this party started.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 117 mins

In Theaters: Friday 5th April 2002

Production compaines: WAVEpictures, The Film Consortium, Baby Cow Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

IMDB: 7.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Tony Wilson, as Charles, as Alan Erasus, as Lindsay Wilson, Martin Hancock as Howard DeVoto, Mark Windows as Johnny Rotten, as Rob Gretton, as John the Postman, as Martin Hannett, as Bernard, as Peter Saville

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.