Thursday, 11 October 2007

Love will tear us apart...

Control: Review:

Went to see the Anton Corbijn new film about Joy Division Control last night. It’s really good, far better than I thought it might be. Even though I know a great deal about JD/New Order et al I was fully engaged delighted and moved. One of the excellent tricks it pulls off is, is not falling into the trap that Ian Curtis’ death was inevitable. The sad things the film shows well, is that he did have choices and a future, if he could have got over what in most lives would be a medium sized blip his life would have fine. After all “rock star has more than one wife” is hardly news. It does come back to the whole “no adults” being around in rock it’s a bit glib and I’m not belittling depression or epilepsy but he really just needed a little support and perhaps a break from touring.

The other aspect of the film which is great is the recreation of late 70’s Britain, people have said it looks like another country but it looks familiar to me! Corbijn shows again the fact that 1960’s took a long time rolling out across Britain. Ian Curtis grew up in world were people still got married young mainly so they could have sex, where news from the “underground” came through hard to find books by William Burroughs or via Iggy and Bowie’s records and where having a girlfriend from Belgium is the height of exoticisms.

Obviously the film would have failed if the concert performances where poor but they are really well done, Sam Riley (as Curtis) inhabits his character amazingly well and from the many times I’ve seen New Order the actors playing Barney, Steven and Hooky look the part. One interesting thing is that Riley occasionally looks very like Steve Morris, (he was up his role in 24 Hour Party people!) This could be coincidence or maybe Steven Morris picked up some of Ian Curtis mannerisms?

So, a wonderful film, go and see it.

Extra points:
Don’t go to see any film especially Control at the Trocadero. Because:
A: they keep their prints in a bath full of sand, dust and horse hair.
B: they employ a one eyed projectionist with the DT’s
C: when you have a moving cinematic experience coming out into a garish hell hole full of video games and trinkets stalls fresh from a souk is a bit full on.

New Order will never escape the accusation of being rightwing if they go around picking Hitler’s secretary to play Ian Curtis’ girlfriend.

It’s evidently clear we now all live in Chicken Town.
John Cooper Clarke’s strident poem/rant appears in Control but also popped up strikingly and a little jarringly at the end of the Sopranos the other week.


ally. said...

never go to the trocadero dear boy - a horrid blot on our city.
still not sure about going to see this - i'm always very wary of films connected so closely to my past and that can end up with even more curtis deification

BLTP said...

It's at the end of my street at work, but I won't be going a again.
RE: film I understand you misgivings but I think it humanises IC rather than deifies him. He shown as normal man with very human failings and his suicide isn't glorious but horrible with real consequences for those around him. The only problem for the film makers is that other suicides didn't write atmosphere a song which if played as a soundtrack would make the telly tubbys portentious.
I think it's good that we are getting films about our past we've had enough of crinolines and floppy haired henrys