our film reviews: from armchair viewing to the festival front row

10 October 2007

[Reel-Reviews] Control (4 stars)

Anton Corbijn’s Ian Curtis/ Joy Division film, Control, lived up to (very high) expectations last night. Beautifully crafted and shot, it was a period piece as much as any Merchant Ivory - the difference being this was Macclesfield, Salford and Manchester in the 1970s.

Of course, knowing the ending made it a very intense experience from the off. But Corbijn's tenderness and vision made me ache and finally weep for that damaged young man, isolated and alone despite (because of?) his fame.

It was an ultimately fatal, bad mix - the lows of epilepsy, medication, marriage and adultery, and the itinerant lifestyle of the music scene. But as needed, there was humour writ right through it all – not least, a brilliant one-liner about The Fall’s Mark E Smith.

To complete the full Mancunian experience, there was also a fist fight in the cinema during the screening last night! A drunk bloke, who was heckling, commentating and singing (!) his way through the film, finally got shouted at by another bloke down the front and a spot of bother ensued. And I have to say, after we’d escaped the film having got through the rest in reverent silence, we thought it had rather added to both the tension and the moment...

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