7.8/10
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Joy Division (2007)

A chronological account of the influential late 1970s English rock band.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Richard Boon ...
Himself
...
Himself
Kevin Cummins ...
Himself
Ian Curtis ...
Himself (archive footage)
Bob Dickinson ...
Himself
Lesley Gilbert ...
Herself
Iain Gray ...
Himself
Rob Gretton ...
Himself (archive footage)
Martin Hannett ...
Himself (archive footage)
Alan Hempsall ...
Himself - Crispy Ambulance Singer
Annik Honoré ...
Herself
Peter Hook ...
Himself
Joy Division ...
Themselves (archive footage)
Richard H. Kirk ...
Himself - Cabaret Voltaire
Terry Mason ...
Himself - Manager and Roadie
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Storyline

A chronological account of the influential late 1970s English rock band.

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Their own story in their own words.

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Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

2 May 2008 (UK)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Shadowplay
Performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of ITN Source
Written by Ian Curtis (as Curtis) / Peter Hook (as Hook) / Bernard Sumner (as Sumner) / Stephen Morris (as Morris)
Published by Universal Music Publishing Ltd
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User Reviews

 
In the shadowplay acting out your own death knowing no more.
1 March 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Joy Division, the mercurial Manchester based masters of dark post punk sounds, who in Ian Curtis had one of the eras most tortured souls.

Directed by Grant Gee and written by Jon Savage, this documentary actually brings nothing new to the table for hardened fans of the band, of which I am unashamedly amongst that number. There is a tendency with musical documentaries to be over praised by fans simply because, well, they just love to see their idols/heroes/inspirations up there on the screen. Grant Gee's film has strong merits as an introduction for those new to the band, for the curious and to those hypnotised by tunes so hauntingly poetic they can reduce you to tears, but again for those who have followed Joy Division and their subsequent brotherhood band, New Order, there is nothing to be learned here.

The absence of Deborah Curtis (Ian's widow) from the doc is annoying, where we are only given printed quotes from her. One can only guess that she refused to be sharing screen space with her love rival, and fellow tormentor of Ian Curtis' psyche, Annik Honoré, the latter of which who is more than happy to fuel the documentary fire. At times this feels like a copy of Anton Corbijn's superb film, Control, only with the real life band members and entourage commenting from the edges of the frame. But then there is of course the live excerpts of the band, which lifts this up to the high levels set by Control and Deborah Curtis' excellent book, Touching from a Distance.

In that, there is the crux, Joy Division the film is essential for fans, to see that performance of Shadowplay and etc etc, it's these moments that make us forgive the narrative, which quite frankly, is a bit of a cash cow cash in. And I really do say that with heavy heart. 8/10


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