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UK, 2002 (MIFF 2002, International Panorama)

Director: Michael Winterbottom

In Official Competition at Cannes this year, the latest film from Michael Winterbottom (The Claim, MIFF 2001) is an energised, chemical-fuelled trip through the birth and heyday of the dynamic Manchester music scene. Inspired by a seminal Sex Pistols gig, Tony Wilson set up record label Factory Records, signing bands like Joy Division, New Order and eventually The Happy Mondays.

What ensues is a comically sordid tale of music, sex, drugs, larger-than-life characters, the birth of world-famous dance club The Hacienda and the music label, Factory Records. The film is replete with spot-on re-creations of the costumes and characters of the era. Winterbottom shoots in a range of styles from cinema verite to near-slapstick. As Wilson, actor-comedian Steve Coogan (aka TV alter-ego Alan Partridge) is mesmerising as an unreliable narrator, self-confessed 'dope connoisseur' and eccentric entrepreneur.

"Thanks to an excellent script, brilliant cinematography by the (legendary Wim Wenders' lensman) Robby MüIIer and intelligent direction by Winterbottom, the film is constantly amusing and fascinating." - Hollywood Reporter

Michael Winterbottom (born in Lancashire, 1961) made his directorial debut with two documentaries about Ingmar Bergman. Since his critically acclaimed Butterfly Kiss (1994), he has won international recognition for his films, including Jude (1996), Welcome to Sarajevo (1997) and Wonderland (1999).

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