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'Control' Ian Curtis Joy Division Film from press launch to cinema screens

A film documenting the life of Ian Curtis, late frontman of Manchester band Joy Division, was made during 2005 and 2006. Celebrated rock photographer and video maker Anton Corbijn makes his debut as director of a full length feature film. It was premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2007 and gained a rapturous response

Deborah Curtis, widow of the legendary singer is one of the co-producers. The screenplay closely follows her book "Touching from a Distance: Ian Curtis and Joy Divison" (published 1995 and 2001 Faber and Faber). I found the book riveting from cover to cover. Read my mini-review here. If they have managed to transfer the power and frankness of the book onto the big screen, then this film will undoubtedly be a success.

I met Deborah Curtis after the press launch on 7 Jan 2005, and asked her if making the film might be upsetting. She told me: "Writing the book was cathartic, a process of exorcising ghosts. With the film I'm hoping to be able to appreciate it from the outside, from a technical point of view. It's important that it's a good film and that it has uplifting qualities - the music, the talent, the fun they had, how exciting it was for the band to work together."

Tony Wilson is credited as co-producer. The story of his involvement with the Hacienda night club was dramatised in the film 24 Hour Party People. Now, 'Control' elucidates another aspect of the celebrated and sadly-missed music impresario, to whose memory the UK premiere on 17 August 2007 was dedicated.

I also met Los Angeles-based producer Todd Eckert, and asked him how popular Joy Division are in America. He told me: "In the United States there is more interest in Ian Curtis and Joy Division than people in the UK could ever imagine."

The role of Ian Curtis is played by newcomer Sam Riley, who played Mark E Smith in 24 Hour Party People

Deborah Curtis is played by Samantha Morton, and Craig Parkinson is Tony Wilson.

The official website is at www.controlthemovie.com. Cast details and other info on www.imdb.com.

When the film is eventually premiered in Manchester, I will write a full review. I have had no involvement in the making of this film, apart from attending the press launch where I shook hands with Anton Corbijn.

More info about the film and everything you would ever want to know about Joy Division on the website Joy Division Central

See also the fan website www.iancurtis.org.

Related topics: My stills photography on Daddyfox the film that never was. Go to EWM.

My mini-reviews of two classic Manchester-made films: A Taste of Honey and Hell is a City

I am planning a 10 minute nostalgic short film set in my home area of Edgeley and Cheadle Heath to be filmed from autumn 2007 to spring 2008.

This page gained 1468 page views between 13 March 2007 and 25 May 2007, when article relaunched and page counter set to zero.

Written by Aidan O'Rourke
Posted/Updated 2007-05-25

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