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Joy Division - Control

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 28 / 9 / 2007

Joy Division - Control


New biopic 'Control' tells of the life and death of Joy Division's Ian Curtis. The directorial debut of Anton Corbijn who took photos of the band originally, Anthony Strutt finds it to be a masterpiece

'Control' is the story of the life of Ian Curtis and his loves - his wife Deborah and his mistress Annik -and the music he left behind when he fronted firstly Warsaw and then more famously the band that grew out of it, Joy Division, Shot entirely on location in Macclesfield in beautiful black and white and released in digital sound and vision, 'Control' is stunning from beginning to end and from its opening shots of the teenage Curtis being picked on by locals yobs to its closing scene of his suicide. Based on Deborah Curtis' 1995 autobiography,'Touching from a Distance' this film tells it straight and as it was. It does not make Ian Curtis into a hero. It shows him as a sick man battling epilepsy, trying his best only all too often to fall, taking a lousy job in an employment office to provide for his young bride, having a baby in early adult life, and finding an avenue for his poetry with the band he befriends. 'Control' is filmed with loving care by director Anton Corbijn,a Belgian photographer whom took photos of the band originally and knew everyone involved in this story. With this film he has made the best musical film I have ever witnessed.The gig scenes and live Joy Division scenes were played by the band in the film, practised till they nailed each song on the head. Sam Riley, whom plays Curtis has the looks, the moves and the charm to carry this real life story off. If by the last scene you are not in tears, then frankly why are you watching this portait of Manchester's finest Poet at all ? A masterpiece.

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