97. Control (Anton Corbijn, 2007)
Another Movie I posted last time I was going through this list is this biopic following Joy Division's Ian Curtis. To move things along quickly I'll just use much of what I said last time considering I'm still pretty satisfied with it. Control is a biographical film chronicling the rise of the hugely influential rock band Joy Division, primarily focusing on their lead singer Ian Curtis up until his untimely death. There are a number of things that need to be mentioned when talking about the film, primarily three things, the film's dedicated director and well known photographer Anton Corbijn, the irreplaceable Ian Curtis, and the band itself. Corbijn worked as a photographer and has also over the years directed many music videos for bands such as Nirvana, Echo & the Bunnymen, Depeche Mode, and of course, Joy Division. Corbijn himself claims to have a personal connection with the film, living in England at the time, working with the band for photo shoots, and experiencing the way Joy Division's music defined his time there. His talent as a photographer is evident in the construction of the look of the film, presented in black and white to "reflect the atmosphere of Joy Division and the mood of the era" (Control: The Ian Curtis film). Corbijn also financed a large percentage of the production of the film personally.
Next, the band itself, Joy Division began using energy and influence of the seventies punk revolution and developed it into a sound that became the definitive representation of the post-punk genre that naturally followed punk rock. Unfortunately their rise was short lived with the death of their front man Ian Curtis, and continuing without Curtis as the newly formed New Order. Curtis himself is one of the most interesting individuals in the history of Rock and Roll and his sudden death ranks up there as a tragedy comparable to the deaths of Buddy Holly and John Lennon, musicians who died far too young and too soon. A passionate performer and a complex and introspective lyricist Curtis defined Joy Division's image and sound with his unique stage presence and his deeply personal expression through his song writing.
Virtual unknown Sam Riley portrays the tragic Curtis near flawlessly. Like I said in an earlier post, it's a rare thing when an actor can inhabit a character such as Curtis, such an iconic character in rock history and come off not as a parody of the individual but a genuine believable recreation. Corbijn's film not only captures the turmoil and depression in the mind of Curtis, suffering from epilepsy, it also captures the time period and state of rock music. With music finding the beauty in Curtis' suffering, the film and music serve as remarkable capsules of the expression of an individual that left an impact on generations to follow.
Films from 2007 on List:
Control (Anton Corbijn)