Friday, April 12, 2013

24 Hour Party People

Everyone knows of the British Invasion of the 1960s. You know, when the rest of the world got a taste of bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who. Roughly a decade later, the UK had a new name of music: puck rock.

This era of music was immortalized by bands like the Sex Pistols and The Clash. The era of music that Michael Winterbottom captures in 24 Hour Party People is the post-punk era. (The punk era itself is glimpsed at briefly.) This is the era where Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays reigned supreme. And Tony Wilson (Steve Coogan) was responsible for getting them recognized.

As with other stories of meteoric fame like Sid and Nancy and Control (the latter would make for a good double feature with this), 24 Hour Party People shows that getting sudden recognition might not always be the best thing. Many times, the overwhelming success will result in substance abuse. That very thing is what happened with several of Wilson's clients.

Amusingly, Winterbottom doesn't stick with a particular format for the film. It isn't a straight drama because Wilson/Coogan breaks the fourth wall ever now and again, particularly to point out who's making a cameo. And it's not a documentary since the people shown are actors, not the real people. Still, the blending of the two genres is a nice touch on Winterbottom's part.

24 Hour Party People certainly seems like one of those films that I'll be watching again in the near future. Featuring a motley crew of British actors (a number of them later making names for themselves on television), the film showcases an era full of sex, drugs and plenty of rock 'n roll.

My Rating: ****

1 comment:

  1. I really liked this film. I should rewatch it now that I have a better knowledge of this era though. Coogan <3


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