24 Hour Party People

24 Hour Party People DVD cover24 Hour Party People was released in 2002 by United Artists.  The story focuses on Tony Wilson, played by Steve Coogan, who was the head of Factory Records in Manchester, England during the 1980’s and 1990’s.  Wilson was a Cambridge-educated journalist who had a dissatisfying job at a local television station and wanted to do something on grander scale.  In 1976 he attended the small but now famous Sex Pistol’s concert at the Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall.  It was at that concert that Wilson got the idea to become a concert promoter and began a weekly series of punk rock shows at a club in the city.  The film follows his decision to start a music label with the first band he signs being Joy Division, who soon change their name to New Order and become an international phenomena.  Wilson signs other bands that go on to become legendary in the post-punk rock rave scene including the Happy Mondays and A Certain Ratio.  The movie is not only informative about this period in rock history, but it’s also upbeat, funny, and playful.  The directors continuously splice live footage into scenes and have actors talk directly to the audience, breaking through the fourth wall.  There are also numerous cameos by real people from the story including Tony Wilson, singer Howard Devoto, and Paul Ryder of the Happy Mondays.