Control (2007)

In biopic, film, period drama, Rant, Review on 17/01/2012 at 7:10 pm

This is probably an interesting film for Joy Division fans. Control is a biopic about Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis, made by renowned celeb photographer and No.1 Joy Division fan Anton Corbijn. For this reason, photographers will also quite certainly find this interesting. My advice to film lovers however, is to watch something else.

Sure, the cast is great (Samantha Morton, Sam Riley) and every shot looks like something you’d put up on your wall. Control also received some very good reviews and prizes in Cannes. Living members of the band even liked it, although they said most of the film didn’t really happen that way.It’s also in black and white, which makes it very artsy.

Despite all his glory, the fact remains that Control fails because it is essentially two hours of hopeless tedium. What the problem is? Mainly the writing. There is absolutely no suspense (meaning: you don’t give a donkey’s tit what’s going to happen next) and the protagonist isn’t captivating in any way (meaning you don’t give a duck’s wobbly behind if he does end up dead – which he does, but you already knew this because it actually happened). I’m certainly not going to blame it on the very capable cast, but I am going to say the makers obviously cared too much about being artistic (and you and I know that nobody really knows what that is) and they cared too little about telling a story.

Film critics: stop praising independent films for being bloody pretentious (just because you want to come across as an artistic authority). Joy Division fans/photographers: have fun. Everyone else: I suggest Worried About the Boy (2010), an amazing biopic of Boy George which you’ll love even if you never heard of the guy.


  1. If you’d ever been to Macclesfield (where (a lot of) it was filmed) you’d understand the hopeless tedium; I went to school there so I know!

    I agree though, there’s an awful lot of praise for the pretentious just because things are pretentious. And that’s just silly.


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