Based on the memoir TOUCHING FROM A DISTANCE by Deborah Curtis, Anton Corbijn's CONTROL is as near perfect a filmic telling of the story of Joy Division and Ian Curtis as any fan could hope for. It's also a beautifully rendered piece of cinema about the crippling effects of love and regret, and the salvation we seek in art. Born out of England's post-Sex Pistols punk explosion, Joy Division played a dark, minimalist version of the nascent sound, and became cult heroes thanks in part to their brilliant yet disturbed frontman Ian Curtis (played by an eerily perfect Sam Riley). Corbijn does a wonderful job recreating the Manchester band's music and live show, cutting straight to the essence of Joy Division's unique appeal. Credit must also be given to the three actors who portray the rest of Joy Division. Playing all the instruments themselves, they perfectly capture the band's powerfully stoic presence, one that translates both live and on record into the sonic equivalent of an existential crisis. CONTROL, however, is ultimately about Curtis's tumultuous marriage with his wife, Deborah (Samantha Morton), and the way that Joy Division became an aesthetic manifestation of his pain--one that was both physical (Curtis was an epileptic) and emotional. Corbijn evokes Curtis's hurt and isolation with both honesty and subtlety: a photographer originally, he frames each shot to look like a stark black-and-white photo from an album the audience was never meant to see, making Curtis's pain palpable and his eventual suicide that much more tragic. The overtones to the later suicide of Kurt Cobain are hard to avoid, but where Cobain's suicide has always been discussed in terms of the pressure he felt as a rock star, Curtis's, as rendered by Corbijn, is a pain anyone could potentially be forced to suffer through.
Samantha Morton,Joe Anderson,Sam Riley,Craig Parkinson,Nigel Harris,Nicola Harrison
May 18, 1980 was a gloomy day for punk fans alike when Ian Curtis took his life. The English band, Joy Division, brought a unique sound that made a strong impact on the punk faction during the late 70s and Ian Curtis will be forever recognized for his key role in that. Although the band went on to become the group New Order after his suicide, CONTROL examines Curtis' personal ups and downs while with Joy Division that made a lasting impression on the music world.
CONTROL, a nine time film festival award winner, including three wins earned at the Cannes Film Festival, was directed by acclaimed music photographer Anton Corbijn and loosely based on Curtis' wife's book Touching From A Distance. It stars two-time Academy Awardr nominee Samantha Morton (In America, Minority Report), Alexandra Maria Lara (Downfall) and relative newcomer Sam Riley (24 Hour Party People).