"Most of all, I love Manchester. The crumbling warehouses, the railway arches, the cheap abundant drugs. That's what did it in the end. Not the money, not the music, not even the guns. That is my heroic flaw: my excess of civic pride." - Tony Wilson (Steve Coogan)
Maybe it's the lame poster for the film, which does kind of make it look like a TRAINSPOTTING knock off about ravers, but Michael Winterbottom's 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE is criminally under-appreciated.
Yes, ecstasy and warehouse parties do come into play, but the film is really the story of the Manchester music scene, circa 1976-1992 (all the way from the days of punk to the height of the "Mad-Chester" scene) as told by Factory Records founder Tony Wilson (the ever charming Steve Coogan).
Inspired after catching a Sex Pistols gig, Wilson and his friends founded Factory and, mostly by sheer luck, signed some of the most influential artists of the time: Joy Division, James, and the Happy Mondays. Then they all spent the next couple of decades feeding voracious appetites for sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll -- and of course pissing away fortunes while doing it.
Sure, it's a familiar tale. But Winterbottom and company tell it with style (craftily utilizing some great archival performance footage) and cheeky flair ("I'm being postmodern, before it's fashionable."), that makes it totally transcend your average rise to rock bottom music biz story.
Here's a taste of Coogan's sly, fourth-wall breaking Wilson and Winterbottom's clever use of archival footage in a clip recreating that inspirational Sex Pistols gig:
24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE at Ritz this Music Monday, Jan 31 at 7:00pm (note the earlier than usual start time)
Music Monday is sponsored by Austin's greatest music store, End of an Ear Records, and Austin's most essential vintage furniture and decor store, Room Service.