The question of whether Winterbottom's film is 'based upon a true story', is not easy to answer and is not very relevant: the alternative music scene in Manchester between 1976 in 1992 wasn't really that important. At the same time it is the question that Winterbottom primarily seems to want to pose to the viewer. Was Manchester in that period really comparable with Venice in the Renaissance? Do you believe everything that music guru Tony Wilson, the founder of Factory Records, wants to sell us? If you have to choose, then print the legend, he says as narrator. 24 Hour Party People, shot by cameraman Robby Müller as a wild documentary for an underground TV channel, is the public, mediaaware counterpart to Winterbottom's realistic Wonderland. It became a humorous essay about misinforming, about the quasitruth of the DV camera . Just as Todd Haynes' Velvet Goldmine gave the British glamrock of the 1970s a sensible visual translation, this film shows that 'realistic' images are not to be trusted. 'Hype' would be a good alternative title. Once again, Winterbottom does not disappoint us as an intelligent film auteur, who astounds and makes us think. And again, a film by Winterbottom is in danger of not getting the recognition it deserves. Hans Beerekamp is film editor of NRC Handelsblad.

Filmmaker
Michael Winterbottom
Premiere
-
Country
United Kingdom
Year
2002
Medium
35mm
Length
112’
Language
English
Producer
Revolution Films Ltd
Sales
The Works Film Group
Editor
Michael Winterbottom
Cast
Paddy Considine, Steve Coogan