Monday, July 14, 2008

Control: a movie you ought to see.

It's been a while since I watched a movie that depressed me as much as "Control" did.

Despite being awake until some ungodly hour on Saturday night, I decided to watch - of all things - the movie about Joy Division's lead singer, Ian Curtis, who changed the face of new wave and then committed suicide in 1980. He was 23.

Joy Division was formed the year I was born, but I was lucky in my clubbing years that I was surrounded by DJs who knew good music and exposed me to all of it. I remember hearing "Love Will Tear Us Apart" when I was about 19 and thinking, Wow...that's a haunted voice if I've ever heard one. And at the time I had no idea just how right I was.

(The link to the song above, by the way, will take you to the real video on YouTube, which not only lets you hear the actual song in full but also lets you see the real Ian Curtis, versus the movie version, which is shockingly accurate.)

This is an amazingly well done fanvid-slash-movie trailer for "Control", which shows just how astonishing the actor, Sam Riley, managed to be as Ian Curtis. At some points I had to remind myself this wasn't a documentary.

Oh, god. The last 20 seconds of that have made me cry again. Oh, god.

I was telling my uncle about the movie after dinner earlier, and he's more familiar with New Order than Joy Division, but he knew, basically, who I was talking about. He made the observation that an awful lot of musicians seem to choose hanging as their method of death, and he listed off several right away: Richard Manuel (The Band), Peter Ham (Badfinger), Paul Hester (Crowded House - that one broke my heart)... And of course Michael Hutchence. Sure enough, I scrolled to the bottom of Ian Curtis' page at Wikipedia and saw two subcategories: Popular Musicians Who Committed Suicide and Suicides By Hanging. Which is just... I just sort of sat there for a while, not saying anything, and I put on "Isolation" to fill the silence in my head.

Mother, I've tried, please believe me / I'm doing the best that I can / I'm ashamed of the things I've been put through / I'm ashamed of the person I am

See the movie. Even if you've never heard a Joy Division song in your life. Even if you hate their music. It doesn't matter. It's one of the best-made films I've seen in a long, long time, and despite the obvious sadness of the subject, it would be a terrible shame to let that make you not see it. It's that good. Sam Riley and Samantha Morton and the whole cast are just...staggeringly fantastic.

Me, though? I need to watch something else now. Because the heaviness in my chest still hasn't gone away.

1 comment:

Dalila said...

Well written article.