:: Wednesday, August 22, 2007 ::

In A Lonely Place

It's been a bit of a Factory week for me with the sad death of Tony Wilson and the screening of the new film about Joy Division's Ian Curtis, 'Control', at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Joy Division were always about a lot more than just Curtis. As well as the band members we had the management of Rob Gretton, the incredible production of Martin Hannett and the sleeve design of Peter Saville which was so central to the Factory mythos. There was the photography of Kevin Cummings and Anton Corbijn, both of whom created grainy black and white imagery of the band against the backdrop of decaying industrial Manchester which played a large part in creating the image of Factory and Joy Division. There were journalists like Paul Morley busy printing the legend often at the behest of Tony Wilson himself.

Tony Wilson was a co-producer on Control and this film festival showing opened with a tribute to him. The film itself is based on the book 'Touching From A Distance' by Curtis' widow Deborah. It's a tough film and doesn't pull any punches when it comes to Curtis' illness and spiral into depression and despair. The film strongly implies that the cause of this was the side effects of the medication that Curtis took for his epilepsy.

The film is directed by Anton Corbijn and like his photography is in grainy black and white. The acting is superb, particularly Samantha Morton as Deborah Curtis. The musical performances were all done by the actors themselves and as well as sounding good closely resemble the way Joy Division moved on stage as portrayed in video compilations like 'Here are the Young Men'.

As the film moves to its grim conclusion the viewer is drawn in to the mess that Ian's life has become. Powerful, bleak and highly recommended.

Unofficial 'Control' site.

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