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CONTROL (a review)

I'm not really sure that I'm going to do this film or Joy Division fans justice with this review, but I have to try, so here we go... I was out with my friend Jade the other night and she introduced me to some girlfriends of hers. We were sitting around chatting over pints when the DJ put on "Love Will Tear Us Apart" and one of the girls commented on how there was this one summer a few years ago where you could walk around in the village and EVERY bar would be playing that song. Every DJ was spinning it, constantly. I don't know why this was exactly, but that was actually one of my first introductions to Joy Division - aside from hearing that song and others before my knowledge of the band was honestly pretty limited. Fast forward a few years later, and, while I am still not a die-hard fan like a lot of people I know, Joy Division are now a band that I have really grown to appreciate, far beyond the basics of their catalog.

Coming at it from that perspective, I was still really excited to get to see an advance screening last night of Control, Anton Corbijn's new Ian Curtis biopic. Having always been sort of an enigma to me, in so far as I basically knew little to nothing personal about him aside from his haunting vocals and the fact that he tragically took his own life, the almost chilling trailer that was released earlier this year immediately drew me in. Shot entirely (and very appropriately) in black and white, the film is based on the memoirs of Ian's wife Deborah, and takes us through their relationship together, the formation of what would become Joy Division, Ian's ultimate infidelity, internal struggle with his demons and his epilepsy, and ultimate unraveling.

Personally, I thought Corbijn did a beautiful job with the material, however even after watching such a compelling and tragic film, I still felt that I came up empty in a sense in terms of having any real new insight into Curtis, aside from what most people already know about him. Then again, it seems like no one, even the women who loved him and his closest friends and family, really ever knew what was going on with their withdrawn friend, always touching from a distance but never truly getting in.

Never the less, Sam Riley (who had never been in a film before) gives a remarkable performance as the tortured soul Curtis, and the film frame by frame seemed to have been made with the utmost love and care. Corbijn himself describes the film - his first - as a very personal voyage for him in his life It is a journey which began in for him in his turbulent teenage years, to when he moved to London to make a change after listening to "Unknown Pleasures" and knowing that he needed to be in the place where that music was created because it touched such a chord with him. All of this emotion culminates in what is ultimately a film that will stay with the viewer a long time after the final frame.

For more information on Control, check out the official website. The film comes out October 10th here in the US in limited release. The trailer is here.

and the blog goes on...

i know i haven't blogged about them in a while