Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Do You Own The Dancefloor? Review

“Nostalgia is a disease,” says Tony Wilson, broadcaster, Factory Records and Hacienda owner. A question that’s explored by the ambitious documentary, Do You Own The Dancefloor?

Chatting to a friend over a pint, Chris Hughes talks about a piece of wood he has hanging on his wall. An artefact of the now demolished Manchester nightclub, The Hacienda. Goaded by the friend into discovering the whereabouts of other items of the club, Chris took the challenge and embarked on a journey of directing his first film. 

Director, Chris Hughes
For those clubbing in the 80s and 90s, The Hacienda, was the Mecca for dance music. But before the rave scene swept in, it was a venue designed to showcase emerging talent like the Happy Mondays and Inspiral Carpets.

This 90 minute documentary is infused with colourful characters, and effectively captures their personalities. Interviews include Oasis’s Liam Gallagher, New Order’s Peter Hook, resident DJs Dave Haslam and Graeme Park, plus Hacienda employees and regulars. 

The film has effectively crafted a three act structure. The rise of the converted warehouse. Its literal fall, as articles are auctioned off. And its legacy.

Stylistically, the motion graphics have faithfully followed Hacienda architect and designer, Ben Kelly’s original chevron design.

And you couldn’t have a documentary about a music venue, and not have a solid soundtrack. Again, the film succeeds, with toe tapping tunes that never distract.

Nine years in the making, all proceeds go to charities. Kidneys for Life and Cancer Research UK, which is perhaps why the doc, has not received its deserved distribution. 

The film is about more than memorabilia. It’s people connecting to their personal history and iconic buildings of cultural significance, being preserved.

Did I like Do You Own The Dancefloor? I’ll quote Dave Haslam: “I was mad for it!”

For future screenings visit
Words by Claire Bueno

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