Thursday, May 22, 2008

Remembering Ian Curtis

ImageControl and Joy Division (Genius/Weinstein)
The 1980 suicide of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis at age 23 still hangs over British music; these two films attempt to come to terms with his death. Photographer Anton Corbijn’s first feature, Control looks at Joy Division’s beginnings and Curtis’s difficult life -- he was an epileptic and a neurotic pessimist, a lethal combination -- through rose-colored lenses, though it's filmed in immaculate black and white. Curtis’s widow was a consultant on the film. Still, Corbijn’s enthusiasm for the Manchester scene, the band and Curtis himself (wonderfully played by an eerie Curtis lookalike, Sam Riley), comes through. Joy Division is a 95-minute documentary full of interviews with surviving band members and others. Together, these films paint a portrait of a specific time and place in rock history.
Extras (with Control):
Corbijn commentary and interviews; making-of featurette; music videos; extended musical performances from the film; (on Joy Division) music video; 75 minutes of additional interviews.

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