Bollocks! It isn’t just “that part” of a man’s anatomy but is a testament to the grin-and-bear-it spirit of British culture that has spawned some of the best-loved bands, films, and artists. And with Virgin Records celebrating their 40th Anniversary this month in London, this week we salute our friends across the pond.
In light of Steve Coogan film Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa debuting at this year’s New York Film Festival, it seems appropriate to recommend another film from the British actor/comedian who plays the prick-ish/witty/slightly snobbish/but self-debasing role so very well. 24 Hour Party People takes place in Manchester during the late 70s from the rise and quick demise of Joy Division and the post-punk movement to 80s New Wave and the “Madchester” scene of the early 90s. Through the narration of Tony Wilson (Steve Coogan) who’s independent label Factory Records was responsible for launching some of the greatest bands of Manchester’s music scene, the movie somewhat blurs the lines between fact and fiction. However it gives such an authentic glimpse into what working class Manchester life must have been like at the burgeoning of its music community, that the accuracy of historic details don’t seem to matter. The movie also boasts a great soundtrack for those with a taste for punk/new wave with highlights from Factory Records bands like Joy Division, New Order, Happy Monday, and Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark.