19 November 2007

Films I'm Into: Control

Oh, biopics. How I can loathe you so. If you've seen one, you've seen 'em all, I always say.

So it wouldn't be a total shocker if I went into the theater carrying that mentality to see Anton Corbijn's Control, chronicling the life and demise of Joy Division front man Ian Curtis.

I must say, I was pretty accurate about the biopic standpoint; however, this movie quickly established Corbijn as a visual director (which shouldn't be a surprise because he started out as a photographer). What could have been a pretentious film about a cult favorite indie post-punk band from Manchester was actually a visually well-done and organic film. While watching the film, you can easily grasp that Corbijn was serious about his subject matter.

The casting of Samantha Morton as Deborah Curtis was more than interesting, but it showed that she has a nice, sound range of acting abilities (sidebar: have you noticed that female actors of foreign countries have overcome typecasting with ease, while as American female actors deal with that shit non-stop?).

I saw the movie a week ago and I'm still trying to register if I liked Sam Riley as Ian Curtis. To be honest, he may have been the weakest link. I hate saying that, especially when the kid has done something so bold by starring as one of rock's tortured souls ever, not to mention trying to hone Curtis' distinctive baritone voice.

Nevertheless, I was more impressed with Sean Harris' portrayal of Ian Curtis in Michael Winterbottom's 24 Hour Party People. Then again, it's the battle of accuracy: was Ian Curtis more so compassionate and sensitive like Riley in Control or just flat-out intense like Harris in 24 Hour Party People? I suppose the former since it's based off Deborah's memoir. If anything, I definitely admire Riley's determination.

With that being said, I'm more than elated to see that, albeit nearly 30 years later, Joy Division is gaining more recognition through Control and a self-titled documentary that was released last year (though it'd be nice to know when the hell it's gonna release in the States). And the Unknown Pleasures/Closer/Still reissue box set completes the formula.

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