Sunday, September 08, 2002

24 Hour Party People (IMDB) (Netflix)
Beginning in the late '70s, Manchester, England was the leading edge of the punk music scene, and TV host and idealistic music impressario Tony Wilson (Steve Coogan) was its muse of sorts, helping bring seminal acts Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays to the world through his Factory Records label and the Hacienda nightclub.

"Party People" recounts Wilson's rise and fall through his own Cambridge-educated eyes (as he continually remind us, just like Harvard alums), and with Coogan's wry comic touch and well-executed breaking of the fourth wall by director Michael Winterbottom, it's an inventive, entertaining and even educational ride through an important part of modern music history (Joy Division's name had an appalling Nazi origin). Here's hoping Coogan makes it into more films.