Something happened in Manchester starting in the late 1970s and going on right up to the late 90s. What happened was mostly orchestrated by a group of people associated with Factory Records.
This film follows TV personality and owner and founder of Factory, Tony Wilson. This is a film which seems to me to be in two halves. The first half follows the rise of Joy Division right up until the tragic suicide of lead singer and songwriter Ian Curtis. The second half of the film looks at the growth of the Madchester scene and culminates with the closure of the legendary nightclub the Hacienda.
The film is pretty funny, and realistic. It’s also directed and shot as if in line with the Factory aesthetic, punky, funky and off the wall. The casting is a little mixed (Ralf Little as Peter Hook is one of the worst casting decisions in history) but Steve Coogan is perfect as Tony Wilson.
There have been other films made (and some great documentaries) about Factory and chiefly about Joy Division (Control is also very good). But, this is the film that best captures the madness and mayhem that was Factory Records.
The trailer is below, but beware, The North will rise again…
So, 67 films to go…
Matthew Cooper has written for Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. He was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge and the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize. His first short film starred a then unknown Ewan McGregor and was picked up by Channel Four when Matthew was 19 years old. He’s been a script writer for hire and filmmaker for hire for over 20 years.