Staggeringly versatile director Michael Winterbottom follows up his epic Western THE CLAIM with a period piece of a completely different variety. A sprawling, visceral tribute to the legendary Manchester music scene that flourished between the years of 1976 and 1992, 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE recreates that influential era with reckless exuberance. In order to bring structure to the tale, Winterbottom and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce focus their attentions on Tony Wilson (Steve Coogan), the man who was responsible for making it all happen. A television reporter by day, Wilson also led a notorious double life as band manager (Joy Division, the Happy Mondays, James), label president (Factory Records), and club owner (The Hacienda). Fiercely determined and dangerously stubborn, Wilson’s energy gave an entire subculture of Manchester youths their place in the spotlight, forever changing the face of popular music in the process. Shot by acclaimed cinematographer Robby Muller in faded digital video, Winterbottom’s pulsating film tears through its subject matter like an ecstasy induced history lesson. The performances are flawless from top to bottom, most notably Wilson, Sean Harris, Paddy Considine, John Simm, and Danny Cunningham. A must-see for music aficionados, Winterbottom’s film is also worth viewing for its sheer sense of hyperkinetic entertainment.