Control (released June 3rd) directed by Anton Corbijn is the story of of Ian Curtis, the unfathomable singer of 70’s new wave icons Joy Division. This modern day “Greek tragedy” set in Manchester England exposes us to the demons that help forge the foundation for what today is called Emo.
The movie is very dark. Shot entirely in color then transferred to black and white it captures the grayness of Ian’s working class neighborhood in Manchester. The brilliant black and white photography is aptly complimented by very deep, dark dialog and a mood compelling soundtrack of some of Joy Divisions’ best works.
Joy Division even in the height of their popularity in the U.K. was a favorite only of the ultra hip in the US. This band forged the way and was a huge influence on almost every U.K. band to follow. The Cure, The Smiths and U2 all have a noticeable Joy Division influence in their sound. After the passing of Ian Curtis the band regrouped as pop-punk sensation New Order.
The 5:1 mix is solid. There are no explosions of car crashes to be had. The music seems to whirl speaker to speaker with guitars bouncing from the front to rear.
This is a must see for any fan of rock music and strongly suggested for any fan of love stories. This movie deals with a boy’s inability to cope with love, fame and hopelessness. I say a boy because Ian Curtis was only 23 when he died. 4 years younger than Morrison, Hendrix and Cobain.
Sam Riley gives a brilliant performance as Ian Curtis, he won best actor at the Edinburgh Film Festival. The film itself won best new British Film at the same event. The supporting casts is also fantastic and actually leant the Joy Division songs and play them in the live scenes in the movie.
I give this film 4 out of 5 stars.