There is going to be a special screening this Thursday at Studiofilmclub of Control (2007), with the film's director, Anton Corbijn, present. Corbijn is best known for his iconic, black-and-white portrait photographs of musicians such as the Rolling Stones, Miles Davis and Bruce Springsteen. He has also made music videos for the likes of U2 and Depeche Mode.
Control, a multiple prize-winner at the Cannes Film Festival, is the story of the late Ian Curtis, singer for the short-lived but highly acclaimed late-'70s Manchester rock group Joy Division. Sam Riley (who stars in the new film adaptation of Brighton Rock) takes on the role of Curtis, while Samantha Morton (In America, Elizabeth: The Golden Age) plays his wife, Deborah Curtis. Following the screening I will moderate a q+a session with Corbijn.
After the film the band jointpop, who this year are celebrating their fifteenth anniversary, will play a short set of some of their best-loved songs.
All this happens at SFC (Building 7, the Fernandes Business Centre, Barataria) this Thursday. Doors open at 7.30pm; the film starts at 8.15. Admission is free.
JONATHAN ALI on CONTROL (Anton Corbijn/UK/2007/122')
The spirit of rock n’ roll rebellion collides with the humdrum realities of British lower-middle-class life in Anton Corbijn’s debut feature. In his Macclesfield bedroom in 1973, Ian Curtis (newcomer Sam Riley, a revelation) writes poetry and nurses teenage dreams of escape to a soundtrack of David Bowie and Roxy Music. His besotted girlfriend Deborah Woodruff (Samantha Morton, playing the role of wide-eyed naif with heart-tugging conviction) agrees to marriage. Quickly routine bites hard, as Curtis juggles a job with trying to make it in a band, struggles with epileptic seizures and the demands of fatherhood, and becomes enmeshed in an affair with a Belgian groupie he can’t/won’t quit.
Based on Touching From a Distance, Deborah Curtis’ memoir of life with her late husband, Control is not a Joy Division biopic. (Though, to be sure, the band’s music is integral to the tale.) Corbijn instead nods in the direction of British social-realist drama—there’s a kitchen sink or two to be seen—while elegantly employing the monochrome style he uses to create his celebrated still portraits. What could have been an exercise in solemn miserabilism is, assuredly, not; rather, this is a moving portrait of the thwarted idealism of youth, and of two young people brought together and then tragically torn apart by love.