Friday, December 07, 2007


Anton Corbijn's 2007 black and white biopic about the late Ian Curtis (1956-1980), lead singer of post-punk band Joy Division is one of the finest films of the year for its unparalleled cinematography, brilliant casting and directorial execution, its sensitivity to the much-ballyhooed subject matter, AND a thrilling soundtrack. It's screenplay is artistically adapted from the thoroughly engaging and illuminating book Touching From a Distance, by Deborah Curtis (Ian's wife), who also co-produces the film with the band's former manager Tony Wilson.

Chronicling the life of troubled young musician Ian Curtis, who forged a new kind of music out of the punk rock scene of 1970s Britain, and the band Joy Division, which he headed from 1977 to 1980, is a daunting task. Clearly there's a reason why a film of this magnitude hasn't been attempted for Curtis before. Nothing could have come close to the coverage here (without direct participation from the band members, family and friends) of his rocky marriage, extramarital affairs, and his increasingly frequent seizures, which were thought to contribute to the circumstances leading to his suicide on the eve of Joy Division's first U.S. tour.

Extra points to Samantha Morton for her sympathetic portrayal of Deborah Curtis, and for making me wish she'd be cast as Sandy Denny in a similar biopic chronicling her life on stage and behind the scenes. Tell me I'm not the only one who thought Sandy was playing Debbie.

4 out of 5 stars


Post a Comment

<< Home