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24 Hour Party People

Posted: May 4th, 2002, by Marceline Smith

Aye, I went to see 24 Hour Party People on, err, let me think…Thursday! I was vaguely interested when I heard about it, slightly put off by Steve Coogan’s Alan Partridgeisms in the trailer and then swayed by mostly good reviews and wee stuart saying it was the most hilarious film he’s ever seen. Anyway, it’s about the rise and fall of Factory Records: Tony Wilson, Joy Division, Happy Mondays, The Hacienda and all that. It’s all filmed in day-glo fake documentary style which is equally amusing and annoying. It’s not a film to take too seriously as they certainly don’t take it seriously themselves, Tony Wilson often narrating the story and making asides to the audience, pointing out things that they’re exaggerating for the story. It still manages to deal with all the suicide, financial troubles, violence and failure in a non-jokey manner [mostly] and doesn’t make anyone out to be a hero, even Ian Curtis. Basically it’s an enjoyable romp through punk, rave and indie with the music at the forefront and it feels really good to have this stuff up there on the cinema screen. Our history and not our parents’. Must be even better if you used to go to the Hacienda and stuff. It does seem a bit crazy that they’re making a film about people who are mostly still alive and bands that are still going – I found myself getting quite annoyed that the actors didn’t look exactly like their real life counterparts but that’s unfair. I’m also not very good with real life stories – I keep hoping it’ll turn out differently and am then a bit upset when it doesn’t. So no surprises, Ian Curtis does kill himself, The Happy Mondays do bankrupt the label, the Hacienda does close down, but you’re still left feeling optimistic at the end. This stuff is important, that you set up labels wth your friends and release badly recorded records by local bands that lose you more money than you ever had and that it’s all more important than money, it’s about your friends. Awww. It’s also very funny and the music sounds fantastic. So, not life-changing but very enjoyable. I’d also like someone to write a hefty tome about the real story of Factory in the same way that David Cavanagh did for Creation. And speaking of Creation, I’m just dreading someone seeing this film and thinking, “let’s make ‘The Creation Records Story’ with crazy Alan McGee and Oasis!” Please no, that Paolo Hewitt book was bad enough.

In other news, there’s a new issue of the diskant ZINE up for your enjoyment. An All Tomorrow’s Parties special no less so go read.

And I’ve got a ticket to see Fugazi next month. Wooo!

Marceline Smith

Marceline is the fierce, terrifying force behind diskant.net, laughing with disdain as she fires sharpened blades of sarcasm in all directions. Based in Scotland, her lexicon consists of words such as 'jings', 'aboot' and 'aye': our trained voice analysts are yet to decipher some of the relentless stream of genius uttered on a twenty-four hour basis. Marceline's hobbies include working too much and going out in bad weather.


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