Thursday, October 11, 2007


I went to see Control, the new film about Joy Division and the suicide of Ian Curtis, with Anna and Jimi on Tuesday night. Although quite heartbreaking for obvious reasons, it’s bloody excellent. I’m often not keen on the idea of screenplays based on real events, especially when it comes to legendary bands and the like, but Control does really well in capturing the enigma, mystique and iconic aura of Curtis and Joy Division. With all of that juxtaposed with Curtis’ home life with a wife and child in Macclesfield, you get a fuller picture of his life and all of its (internal) conflicts. It’s true what all the reviews have been saying, too; the film is beautifully shot, wonderfully grey, and Sam Riley plays a scarily accurate Ian Curtis. As an aside, for some reason they filmed most of it in Nottingham and I recognised two white high-rise tower blocks as being those near Lenton crossroads, extremely close to where I lived at university. Which was nice.

With films like this I always think how odd it must be for the people still alive to see an actor playing them on screen. And, even more so, to have such a torturous episode as a bandmate’s suicide turned into a film. Peter Hook is quoted in the latest Observer Music Monthly:

“When I saw the film in Cannes earlier this year, after Ian dies ‘Atmosphere’ is played, and it’s bloody heartbreaking, it really is – it’s like going through it all again, to be honest. Especially with all the problems with New Order. I’m going through hell and people start to applaud! It’s bizarre having your life flash back like that for other people to see. It's like when everyone laughed in 24 Hour Party People when we lost money on every copy sold of 'Blue Monday' because of the expensive sleeve. I thought, 'You bastards - that's my life, that is, that really happened!'”


Anonymous Jimi said...

I thought them playing 'Atmosphere' when they did was bloody heartbreaking too. Crikey it was a great film, I was shaking when it finished (maybe you noticed... maybe you thought it was some neurodegenrative disorder. Perhaps it was).

October 12, 2007 9:40 am  
Blogger Paddy said...

It's the kind of film that's sure to induce bodyshakes for many. And the kind of film that requires artificial lifting of spirits when it ends. Despite all that, very good.

October 15, 2007 1:09 pm  
Anonymous Mirre Govaart said...


October 15, 2007 10:49 pm  
Blogger Dan said...

I journeyed to the pictures for this visual feast last eve.

Then last night I dreamt about the film, and kept waking up and thinking about it. If nothing else, it was obviously immensely powerful.

I haven't felt that moved since the stirring end of Babe: Pig in the City.

And if that doesn't merit another considered riposte from 'mirre', then nothing does.

October 16, 2007 12:46 pm  
Blogger Paddy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 17, 2007 12:46 pm  
Blogger Paddy said...

(The last post contained a spelling error, so I exterminated it).

I hear you on the Babe front.

I wonder if any other critics have picked up on the startling similarities between Control and D2: The Mighty Ducks yet?

October 17, 2007 12:47 pm  
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