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Corbijn’s Control the coolest of British music images
Making an impelling motion picture about ‘popular’ culture has not been the easiest of tricks and trying to replicate the particular adrenaline and truth of live tunes on the big screen is a huge challenge. Director Anton Corbijn rose to those challenges brilliantly with the 2007 biographical motion picture Control – about Enjoyment Division singer Ian Curtis – as well as here at Saviour we’d encourage one to see it if they haven’t complied already.
The movie was based on the book Touching from a Distance, which was written by Curtis’ widow Deborah – whom co-produced the picture. Deborah is portrayed brilliantly by simply Samantha Morton in the film, even though Curtis himself is played out by Sam Riley which turns in an interesting and haunting performance from the musician.
As the plot develops we stick to Joy Division using their early days and first gigs as Warsaw, as Corbijn takes us with a journey back to 1970s Macclesfield, Manchester and Salford and now we begin to see Curtis’ character develop.
His problems with fame, anxiety, family, his small wife, fatherhood and his partnership with fellow Enjoyment Division members Bernard Sumner, Philip Hook and Stephen Morris are usually tenderly and intimately re-created through Corbijn, Riley, Morton and grey stone island trainers the rest of the forged.
Where Riley really lights are the scenes of Joy Division on stage. Real video clip and original downloads are featured within the film, complimented simply by Riley’s faithful portrayal regarding Curtis’ energetic and dark live performances.
Ultimately, of course, this is the tale of a tragic life which was cut short by Curtis’ suicide in the age of just Twenty-three in 1980. The video is poignant and also saddening, but where Luton music and Tony Wilson are involved there is always room for humour.
Manufacturing facility Records boss Wilson, played out by Craig Parkinson, along with Joy Division manager Rob grey stone island trainers Gretton played by simply Toby Kebbell, provide the comedian relief in correct Mancunian style.
Curtis’ flawed genius contributed hugely for the success that Sumner, Lift and Morris later proceeded to enjoy as Brand-new Order. We should all be grateful for that – and thanks to the music that thrives on we can remember the talent and legacy of Ian Curtis. Corbijn’s Control is a fitting tribute to that musical legacy.
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