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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).

See also...


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Inspired by Thomas Hardy's novel The Mayor of Casterbridge, The Claim is a story about the tragic fall of a self-styled king In 1867 the future of the isolated town Kingdom Come, depends entirely on ... More »


"... all the time you were trying to make me good all you had to do was turn bad yourself ..." ... Part love story, part roadkill, this driving butch/fern buddy pic is as bizarre as they come-a very ... More »


“Angelina Jolie plays [Mariane Pearl] with a rigour and passion that surprised even the most jaded sceptics in Cannes.” - The Times (UK) Under the direction of Michael Winterbottom (9 Songs ... More »


Paul surfers from writer's block and has become increasingly restless with his life. When he meets charismatic risk-taker Billy in a bizarre road accident, the two share a few drinks at a local pub ... More »


"Pure opens with the shocking scene of Paul, a 10 year old boy, bringing his mother (Molly Parker, Marion Bridge, in MIFF this year) breakfast in bed. On the tray is a cup of tea, a syringe and her ... More »

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