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Ian Curtis is a quiet and rather sad lad who works for an employment agency and sings in a band called Warsaw. He meets a girl named Debbie whom he promptly marries and his band, of which the name in the meantime has been changed to Joy Division, gets more and more successful. Even though Debbie and he become parents, their relationship is going downhill rapidly and Ian starts an affair with Belgium Annik whom he met after one of the gigs and he's almost never at home. Ian also suffers from epilepsy and has no-good medication for it. He doesn't know how to handle the feelings he has for Debbie and Annik and the pressure the popularity of Joy Division and the energy performing costs him. Written by
Marco van Hoof <email@example.com>
The actors playing Joy Division learned how to play the songs themselves. So the scenes where the band is playing live is not from tape, but actually the actors playing live. See more »
Joy Division is shown performing "Transmission" on Tony Wilson's television show in September 1978, but in reality, they performed "Shadowplay". The performance that is represented in this scene actually took place a year later in September 1979 on the BBC2 program "Something Else", when they performed "Transmission" (a performance which was used as the music video for the song) and "She's Lost Control". See more »
Anton Corbin has created a film that perfectly showcases both the music of Joy Division and the short but fruitful life of Ian Curtis. The choice to film in black and white was the right one. It sets the tone perfectly for Ian Curtis' gray and lifeless hometown of Macclesfield in 1973.
Corbin as a first time director excels utilizing his visual and technical skills from his previous life as a music video director. Thankfully Control is not just a beautiful looking movie but a perfectly pitched study of the rise and tragic fall of the tortured Ian Curtis. The intensity of the live music performances in the film are as visceral as those of the real band. It is a credit to the actors that they played everything live on screen, it serves to create memorable performances.
Sam Riley delivers a towering performance as Curtis. The first time actor is a name to watch. He is surrounded by a great cast but the film is carried on Riley's shoulders.His inner turmoil is conveyed with great humanity and realism. The audience was still and quiet for quite some time after the credits rolled at the screening I attended.
There are some very clever and touching uses of the music in the film. Corbin uses the intensity of Curtis' lyrics to help paint a biographical picture of the man. The use of 'Love will tear us apart' in the movie was particularly inspired giving the context of the scene it was played in. I hope you will go see this powerful and moving film to see what I am talking about.
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