I watched 24 Hour Partry People this evening, which is a 2002 film about the saga of Factory Records, a record label from Manchester, UK. It’s a tale spanning almost three decades, so you can get your synopsis here on Wikipedia and save my fingers. Commentary, is something I do have though. The movie itself is either A) too long or B) too British, it drags in places, but it still tells a tale of a time I wish I was there to witness. Steve Coogan gives a brilliant performance as Tony Wilson, the mastermind behind the label. What makes his jeremiad such a fascinating story is that Wilson didn’t give a damn about the money, not in the slightest – Factory Records was borne aloft on a bonfire of money, even to the point where the the biggest hit by the label’s flagship band, New Order, was selling each record at a loss, and any profits made by the band were funneled into The Haçienda, the record label’s nightclub that never made any money off of the outrageous parties that were held there, as the mecca of the era of Madchester.
Obviously, Factory Records wasn’t sustainable, but the story, even presented as dry as it is in 24 Hour Party People, to the very end of it, is presented in an interesting fashion. Great film, if you give a damn about the evolution of dance music, it’s certainly worth checking out.