Control movie still
Control movie poster

Control (2007)

Drama, Biography, Music

Director: Anton Corbijn
Writers: Deborah Curtis, Matt Greenhalgh
Starring: Sam Riley, Samantha Morton, Alexandra Maria Lara, Joe Anderson


Based on the biography Touching from a Distance, by Ian Curtis's widow Deborah, who co-produced the film along with Tony Wilson, the founder of Factory Records (Steve Coogan's character in 24 Hour Party People), with a soundtrack supported by the remaining members of Joy Division, and directed by Anton Corbijn, who was the actual photographer of the band, Control is a biopic of the late lead singer of the legendary Manchester post-punk group.

The film follows the band's rise to fame, in the late 1970s, up until Curtis’s tragic decay and eventual suicide. Shot in black-and-white, according to Corbijn, to "reflect the atmosphere of Joy Division and the mood of the era," it focuses on the ordinary aspects of the singers's life, his problems with poverty, early marriage, fatherhood, depression, and the onset of epilepsy that eventually led to led to his death at the age of 23. It is a film that's brilliantly both epic and intimate, an unusual combination of words when describing a rock & roll biopic.

We strongly recommend you watch the film paired with 24 Hour Party People, the story of the 1970s-1990s Manchester music scene.

Plot summary from IMDb: Ian Curtis is a quiet and rather sad lad who works for an employment agency and sings in a band called Warsaw. He meets a girl named Debbie whom he promptly marries and his band, of which the name in the meantime has been changed to Joy Division, gets more and more successful. Even though Debbie and he become parents, their relationship is going downhill rapidly and Ian starts an affair with Belgium Annik whom he met after one of the gigs and he's almost never at home. Ian also suffers from epilepsy and has no-good medication for it. He doesn't know how to handle the feelings he has for Debbie and Annik and the pressure the popularity of Joy Division and the energy performing costs him.

Awards: Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 30 wins & 29 nominations.
Runtime: 122 min



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