Saturday, November 24, 2007

Control - a movie by Anton Corbijn

Venturing out on a rare exodus to a movie theater, my wife (a photographer and fan of Corbijn) made it out to see Anton’s film dedicated to Ian Curtis and Joy Division.

While I’m not a Joy Division fanatic, I did always like their music, and was interested to see how this movie would represent the scene and the times – something that many films have failed to do.

Unlike the cartoonish quality of, say, “Sid and Nancy”, this focuses on real people with real problems, real dreams and real qualities. This follows Ian from a teenage glam-rock fan through his teenage marriage, his epilepsy, depression, mistress and, of course, his band.

The band’s quick rise to fame, but not to wealth, caused many a problem with his wife, who became pregnant as the band started its incline, and his day job, which was lost, causing his wife to become the bread winner as he continued to follow his dream.

Trying to find the right medication to control his seizures, side effects contribute to his natural depression, which is compounded by his affair to Annik, a Belgium fan and writer (and Embassy worker). The stress of the band and his two love affairs eventually become too much for Ian and we all know how that ends.

Beautifully filmed by Anton in black and white, the movie looks great, sounds great (I understand that the actors actually learned to play the instruments and perform the soundtrack) and tells a heartfelt story. While there may be a small chronological error or two, Anton keeps the look and feel of the time (the two concerts that the characters go to – Bowie and the Pistols – do not show the performers, just the characters’ reactions, which was very smart) and succeeds in a sympathetic and interesting tale.

Check out the movie's official website for trailers and more information.


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