24 hour party people longer version after viewing exp
A2: Post modern ﬁlm 24 Hour Party People
24 Hour Party People• A ‘ mockumentary’• Based on real events from 1976 to the late 80s.• Featuring Steve Coogan as the main character (who plays Alan Partridge)• The story is the rise and fall of the Manchester (Madchester) music scene, which was known for being a pivotal time in music history, with the introduction of the Hacienda nightclub.• Dramatises the rebellious and anarchic spirit of punk and new wave youth culture at the time.
Why is it post modern?• It is self referential• The narrative and characterisation is playful and unconventional• It blurs reality and ﬁction• It uses a range of stylistic techniques• It has inter-textual references
24 Hour Party People• Characters break the 4th wall and directly address the audience.• This technique, combined with what the characters actually say, deliberately draws attention to the process of ﬁlm-making.• This is called being self-referential.
4th wall and blurring of ﬁction and reality• The characters are performing as themselves in the past (it’s quite a confusing concept when you stop to think about it);• The opening scene of the ﬁlm where Tony Wilson is hand gliding for Granada Tonight for example is done by editing sections from the real programme into the reconstruction, then Tony Wilson (as played by Steve Coogan) breaks the fourth wall and speaks directly to camera rather literally introducing the ﬁlm.• Steve Coogan never stops being Tony Wilson, but Wilson switches from Wilson of the time to Wilson at some unknown point narrating his story.
Self-referential and playful• The narration is far from straightforward. Characters often speak to the camera. The ﬁrst occasion on which this occurs is in the pre-title sequence, so that this directing style is established from the outset.• He says:• “As the character of Wilson states in the ﬁlm: “I’m a supporting character in my own story”.• This scene is just one example of the way in which the ﬁlm is consistently self-referential.• This is a post modern technique that is playful and self-referential.
Mode of address: talking to camera• Wilsons narration plays a particularly important role as it is a style within the ﬁlm and provides information about the differences between the ﬁlms factual basis and the liberties taken in reconstructing events.• Tony Wilson weaves in and out of the story through alternating news segments and biographical events, engaging and disengaging himself from his world.• Using dialogue addressed directly to the viewers, he introduces characters, reveals future plot twists, cracks jokes, delivers the news — all in a dry, devil-may-care attitude.
Blurring of ﬁction and reality• 24 Hour Party People has Wilson pointing out the characters that would deﬁne the whole Manchester music scene.• He introduces the major players: Howard Devoto and Pete Shelley from the Buzzcocks, Stiff Kittens – soon to be Warsaw - then Joy Division, Mick Hucknall from Simply Red.
Blurring of reality and ﬁction• There are many celebrity cameos in the ﬁlm: Coogan says“......didnt actually make it to the ﬁnal cut. Im sure it will be on the DVD.”• One comic scene shows the musician Howard Devoto with Wilsons ﬁrst wife Lindsay getting close in a club toilet.• At the same time, a cleaner, played by the real Devoto, tells us that he has no recollection of such an event ever having taken place.• There are other cameos - musicians such as Vini Reilly of the Durutti Column and Clint Boon• By using the real actor in a ﬁctional narrative, this blurs the distinction between reality and ﬁction.
Blurring of reality• Michael Winterbottom, the director is interested in the concept of reality.• This is shown through his blurring of fact, ﬁction, reality and exaggeration.
Playful use of different sources for material• Winterbottom uses a tapestry of sources and forms a collage of differing formats, mixing actual archive footage from Granada Tonight (the show Tony Wilson formally hosted) with reconstructions and the main ﬁlm itself, all of which are shot on mixture of video and ﬁlm, and as the narrative progresses it appears that the quality of the ﬁlm and video improves as the technology did in reality,.• As a result the ﬁlm feels like a mix of documentary and knowing reconstructions.
Post modern because it is playful in its range of stylistic techniques• Postmodernist ﬁlm upsets the mainstream conventions of narrative structure and characterisation and destroys (or, at least, toys with) the audiences suspension of disbelief.• In 24 Hour Party People, documentary and fictional footage, historical and mythological representations, narrative and non- narrative impulses, realism and stylisation are intermixed.• Remember the reference at the beginning to the mythological Icarus? A pompous way of referring to himself as a mythological. In Greek mythology, Icarus had wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. He ignored instructions not to fly too close to the sun, and the melting wax caused him to fall to his death. Metaphor for Tony Wilson and the building of the doomed Hacienda. Mixing classical arts with popular culture. What is this called??
Intertextual references• 24 Hour Party People has lots of intertextual references:• Live performances of the Buzzcocks, the Sex Pistols, Mick Hucknall, The Jam.• There is a reference to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and David Bowie - their posters are hastily ripped off a wall — a powerful metaphor signifying the compelling change that was happening during that time. Progressive pretentious arts school rock being replaced by new wave punk.• In coming up with the name ‘The Factory’, there is a dialogue reference to Warhol and L S Lowry.• Lowry is famous for painting scenes of life in the industrial districts of Northern England ... peopled with human ﬁgures often referred to as "matchstick men".
Post modern relation to Alan Partridge• Steve Coogan often is berated for his portrayal of Tony Wilson.• Some critics of the ﬁlm feel that Coogan merely adopted his Alan Partridge persona• This is where 24 Hour Party People takes its post modern approach to another level, as the ﬁctional character of Alan Partridge is in fact partly based on the real life Tony Wilson, it’s not that Coogan is simply playing the role as if Wilson was Partridge, he was in fact playing Partridge as if he were Wilson.
Blog task• To identify the main post modern techniques in 24 Hour Party People.• To provide examples where they exist in the ﬁlm• To explain WHY they are used.
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