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CANNES 2002 Competition

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Manchester, the party is here!

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- The English musical scene of the late 1980´s is the setting for 24 Hour Party People, a realistic comedy by Michael Winterbottom

Manchester, the party is here!

"I am certain I won't win any awards this year. Superstition and plain common sense are typical of British director, Michael Winterbottom. For the time being he has set aside the warn reception his 24 Hour Party People received at home and considers France's premiere film event to be the perfect showcase and marketplace. 24 Hour Party People (the title comes from a song by the Happy Mondays and reflects the true spirit of this film) is about the late Thatcher years and their repercussions on life in Manchester, a city that created and nurtured some of Britain's foremost musical talents in its nightclubs.The main character of this film that is a blend of documentary and a comedy, is Tony Wilson (played by British comedian Steve I'm Alan Partridge Coogan) a TV presenter who owns a cutting edge record company called The Factory. The Factory and Manchester's legendary Hacienda club created the bands that would go on to make musical history like Joy Division, their successors, the New Order and Happy Mondays. «I wanted to make a movie about Manchester; the music and the bands that went on to become world famous,» explains Winterbottom. "It was vitally important to find the right style: a tapestry of images that would express the true sense of those turbulent years characterised by the opposing poles of Thatcher and a new socio-cultural revolution.
The film, with its soundtrack brimming with music from that period, was made in digital, but the director doesn´t believe that new technologies are important. «Film or DV, the true revolution is in freedom of movement, in improvising.» And improvisation was certainly required of the actors in this film, to whom Winterbottom left plenty of room for artistic license. And the real-life Tony Wilson? «He gave me carte blanche, including him cheating on his wife. But my movie is not a real film, it´s fiction that is only based on a true story.»

(Translated from Italian)

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