Monday, November 10th, 2003
Round & Round
It’s British cultural history day here at Chromewaves!
24 Hour Party People – the book – isn’t the source material for the Michael Winterbottom film, as I’d originally thought. It’s actually a novelization of the film. It’s the novelization of a pseudo-documentary of real events, written by the guy who was the main character of said film. Um, okay. Tony Wilson, the principal of Factory Records and legend in his own mind, wrote the book as a sort of companion piece to the film, I guess. As a piece of writing, it’s rather a mess. Here’s a guy writing about himself in the third person as he details events in the past, and then in the first person when he offers some commentary from the perspective of the present. Furthermore, it’s written the way he (presumably) speaks, a big mash-up of asides, anecdotes, and sounding too clever by half. But once you’ve grown accustomed to having Wilson as your guide, there are some insights to be gained.
Since it’s actually written by Wilson, and not being passed through a filmmaking crew, you can assume you’ve got a direct line into his grey matter, more or less. You get his thoughts and recollections on things that couldn’t be conveyed or properly expanded upon in the film – for example, how badly the suicide of Ian Curtis shook him, the depth of his admiration of mad producer Martin Hannett or the vision of house designer Peter Saville. Characters who got only a passing mention or brief appearance in the movie are fleshed out, their importance to the story articulated. It also gives him more room to make his case for the “Shaun Ryder as the next Yeats” theory, which I’m sorry, I still don’t buy. Prat? Yes. Genius? Not so much. I’m not saying to go out and buy the book, but if you like the film, it’s worth putting a hold on it at the library. Go on, I’m done with my copy.
Stayed up and watched Mike Leigh’s Topsy-Turvy last night. I’m not entirely sure why I rented this – the reviews were good, though I’m hardly an afficianado of musical theatre nor was this anything like any of the other Mike Leigh films I’ve seen. That said, I still enjoyed it well enough – a very well executed historical drama/comedy about the making of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado. But in the future, I’m going to have to be careful to NOT start 2h 40m movies at 10:30 on Sunday nights…
It’s municipal election day here in Toronto. Everyone who lives in the 416, go out and vote. For Miller, preferably. But if you’re going to vote for Tory, don’t go to any particular trouble to make it to the polls… democracy is overrated anyway.
To everyone else, go out and do something productive today. Like have a bagel or something.
np – Whiskeytown / Faithless Street