August 14, 2002

I saw 24 Hour Party People tonight. It was enjoyable, if perhaps a little self-consciously "postmodern" -- and I would have preferred more about Joy Division, A Certain Ratio, the Buzzcocks, etc., and less about THE MOST DOGSHIT BAND EVER TO COME OUT OF ENGLAND, THE HAPPY BLOODY MONDAYS.

I mean, it was funny, and I liked the Tony Wilson character -- there was obviously some depth lurking underneath all that bravado, and I liked it that they didn't just paint him as any old cock-wagging blowhard scene-maker. But most of the movie felt pretty superficial; we don't get to know the other major characters enough to develop any real feeling for them. Case in point: We see a few minutes of Ian Curtis, and he's supposed to be some "dour" fellow, and then poof, he's dead. OK. As a music fan, I'm aware of Joy Division and second-wave British punk, and I know that Curtis' death had a major impact on a lot of people. But as a moviegoer imagining Curtis as a character in a story -- I only see that a depressive punker has noosed himself, and then I'm supposed to be as touched by his suicide as all of Manchester apparently is. It's a weird transition, and it only makes the movie seem that much more shallow.

And I was a little put off by Wilson stopping every ten minutes to remind us we were watching a movie (that "This scene didn't make the final cut; maybe it'll be on the DVD" line really got on my nerves -- what is this, fucking Kevin Smith? Come on, insult my intelligence some more).

But no, it was good. By default, one of the better movies I've seen this year.

Also, I try to stay far away from movie theaters as often as possible -- it's traumatic and difficult to be in such close quarters with such horrid, rude people. I figured it'd be worth braving all that to see a good movie, but every time some asshole came in late and spent 15 minutes looking for a seat, it made me hate the very concept of going to the movies. I wish the cinema was like the theater -- where latecomers are shit outta luck, and if you leave to use the can, you've gotta wait outside.