Archive of films 24 Hour Party People / 24 Hour Party People

United Kingdom
2002, 116 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2002

A black comedy about the rise of the legendary Manchester music scene at whose centre stood bands such as Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays. Director Michael Winterbottom created a fictional feature-length documentary in which acted sequences combine with archive footage.


Manchester 1976. Only a handful of people showed up to a certain early Sex Pistols concert, but the impact of their new style of music was phenomenal. The fans who were present felt the influence of this indescribable experience for the rest of their lives. It began a new chapter in the history of music. Television moderator Tony Wilson found himself at the forefront of the Manchester music scene and he immediately started up the now legendary Factory Records. He signed a contract with Joy Division in his own blood, and the band went on to make a splash with their debut album Unknown Pleasure featuring the hit single "Love Will Tear Us Apart." When in 1980 lead singer Ian Curtis committed suicide, the rest of the band carried on under the new name New Order. Three years later the band came out with Blue Monday whose cover was so costly that the publishing house lost five pence on every copy sold. In spite of this, the single became the most successful twelve-inch of all time. Also at the beginning of the eighties, Tony Wilson opened a dance club, the celebrated Hacienda, site of another musical revolution which swept the band off the stage and installed a DJ in its place. But before this he managed to introduce Happy Mondays to the world, and dance music made its mark on the hit parade. Director Michael Winterbottom created this black comedy, covering over twenty years of music, drugs and sex, as a fictional feature-length documentary in which acted sequences combine with archive footage.

About the director

Michael Winterbottom (b. 1961, Great Britain) studied English at Oxford and then film in London and Bristol. He got his start in the industry editing films for Thames Television, later shooting two documentaries about Ingmar Bergman. He met up with screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce while working on teenage TV films, and together they were nominated for a BAFTA Award for Strangers. But Winterbottom made a bigger name for himself with TV series such as Cracker and The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries. His greatest television success to date, however, is the four-part BBC series Family. His feature debut came with the thriller Butterfly Kiss (1995). Filmography: Go Now (1995), Jude (1996), Welcome to Sarajevo (1997), I Want You (1998), Wonderland (1999) and The Claim (2000).

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Screenplay: Frank Cottrell-Boyce
Dir. of Photography: Robby Müller
Music: Liz Gallagher
Editor: Trevor Waite
Producer: Andrew Eaton
Production: The Film Consortium, United Artists Films, Film Council, FilmFour, Wave Pictures, Revolution Films Production, Baby Cow Films
Cast: Steve Coogan, Paddy Considine, Lennie James, Andy Serkis, Shirley Henderson, Sean Harris, John Simm, Ralf Little, Danny Cunningham, Chris Coghill, Paul Popplewell

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