Control (Anton Corbijn, 2007)
A continuous stream of black smoke, rising from the chimney of a crematorium only to settle peacefully into a clear British sky, ends Control, concert photographer Anton Corbijn’s first foray into film directing. Ian Curtis, lead singer of Brit rock band Joy Division, killed himself at the age of 23 after insufferable bouts of epilepsy and other inhibiting personal problems. That final image is a fitting ending to a film about a weary soul trapped within the meager boundaries of an imperfect body.
What differentiates Control from other biopics of popular musicians such as Taylor Hackford’s Ray and James Mangold’s Walk the Line is that it’s more a portrait of an artist than that of a cultural icon or object of mass adulation. The dilemmas Ian faces in his life are far removed from those typical of a rock star’s life of drugs, lies and sex. From the start, Ian is already portrayed as a different creature, fleeing the boredom of the typical family banter in the living room or the mundane chemistry lessons in the classroom, instead preferring the seclusion of his bedroom, his collection of music, and folders of poems and lyrics, to the normal grind of the workaday world...
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