Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Movie Review: Control
Photographer Anton Corbijn’s debut as a film director is a moody, black-and-white portrait of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis. Control begins in 1973, when Curtis was a 17-year-old Macclesfield, England, schoolboy obsessed with glam rock and poetry and ends seven years later with his suicide on the eve (literally) of his band’s first U.S. tour. Corbijn, who photographed Joy Division shortly before Curtis’ death, has made a visually stunning, understated film that doesn’t judge the flawed, enigmatic Curtis (played brilliantly by unknown actor Sam Riley). Unlike most music biopics, Control never places its subject on a pedestal; rather, it strips away Curtis’ mystique, which has only grown in the 27 years since his death. Corbijn has made a human, at times hilarious film that stays with you long after the end credits. As far as rock movies go, Control ranks with the best of them.