Control

2007

Biography / Drama / Music

116
IMDb Rating 7.7 10 57,589

Synopsis


Downloaded 11,110 times
May 2, 2019

Director

Cast

Joe Anderson as Asher Rawlings
Sam Riley as Ian Curtis
Samantha Morton as Debbie Curtis
Toby Kebbell as Callum
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.01 GB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
122 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.95 GB
1920×1080
English
R
23.976 fps
122 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Gormley00 9 / 10 / 10

Depressingly Beautiful

For every icon, there is an unknown predecessor who paves the way. Before there was Kurt Cobain, there was Ian Curtis, lead singer of the post-punk band, Joy Division. 27 years after his tragic death, Curtis' incredible contribution to music is finally being recognized in Anton Corbijn's film, "Control." It's only fitting that Corbijn serve as director since it was his early photographs of Joy Division that reflected the band's dark, introspective songs. Corbijn went on to photograph and direct videos for such musical greats as U2, David Bowie, Depeche Mode, R.E.M. and Metallica. With his first feature film, Corbijn avoids the pitfalls of many music video directors who inundate us with flashy and unnecessary edits and camera angles. Instead, he lets the stark black and white of the film tell the story of a lead singer tortured by epilepsy, guilt, depression and suicidal thoughts. The use of black and white also captures the factory town of Manchester, England in the late 1970s, a city crumbling under industrial and economic stress. Manchester has since rebounded and is once again thriving. Curtis is played by relative newcomer, Sam Riley, who's quiet and unassuming approach portrays an artist inspired by his heroes, David Bowie and Iggy Pop. At a chance meeting following a Sex Pistols concert, Curtis bonds with three fellow musicians to form the band. As Joy Division begins to flourish, Ian's relationship with his young wife, Deborah, continues to distance itself. Academy Award nominee, Samantha Morton plays the confused wife trying to understand her husband's depressed soul. The film is based on Deborah Curtis' autobiography, "Touching From A Distance", so it comes as a surprise that Morton's character does not have more scenes in the movie. The key to Control is understanding Curtis' depression, which the film accomplishes to near perfection. As he battles epilepsy, the young singer lives in constant fear that his next seizure will be his last. His only option is to swallow a daily cocktail of prescription drugs with side effects so terrible, that most of us would rather tempt fate than endure the aftermath of the pills. Ian's spirit is also tortured by overwhelming guilt brought on by an extra-marital affair with a part-time journalist, played by Romanian-born Alexandra Maria Lara. The most telling scene comes when Ian records an in-studio track for the song "Isolation." While Curtis stoically sings into the microphone, his band mates are distracted with the normal banter that typically occurs in a studio. "Mother, I tried, please believe me. I'm doing the best that I can. I'm ashamed of the things I've been put through. I'm ashamed of the person I am." The lyrics seem to fall on deaf ears except for those of the sound engineer who refers to it as "genius." But Ian's brilliance is also a desperate cry for help ignored by everyone in the studio. The 27-year-old Riley does an excellent job of capturing Curtis' aloofness on stage. Singers such as Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and even the early years of Michael Stipe would often drift into the moment of the song. But when Curtis performed, he immersed himself into his own world where the music simply served as the soundtrack. Riley skillfully draws us into Ian's dark world with a range of subtle head movements and facial expressions to a whirling explosion of arm gyrations that came to personify the singer's stage performances. Overwhelmed with grief, shame and depression, Ian finally succumbs to his demons at the young age of 23. He left behind a wife, a child and a musical legacy that is finally receiving its just rewards nearly three decades later. For those looking for a story solely about Joy Division, Control may not be for you. But for those seeking an intuitive perspective into the anguished spirit of one of the most influential alternative bands in history, you will certainly find it in this depressing but incredibly beautiful film.

Reviewed by Chris_Docker 10 / 10 / 10

Careers in a tightly controlled arc, where music biopic meets cinematic excellence

Control, a biopic about a band from Manchester, is getting serious attention from around the world. Starting with an award in Cannes. That's maybe more than you might expect. Joy Division, a respected band of the 70s, are hardly a name on everyone's lips. And films made by ex music video directors about yet another load of rockers rarely raise eyebrows. So why is this different? Joy Division, for non-initiates, were a post-punk Manchester band of throbbing guitars and dark, doom-laden lyrics. Recognition in the music biz (especially by other musicians) was perhaps even greater after the death of lead singer, Ian Curtis. Control covers a period from his schooldays to his end in 1980 (aged 23). It is based on the biography of his widow. Control uses Curtis' love of poetry, as well as the more familiar songs-that-tell-a-story device, to provide at least scant insight into the music. "I wish I were a Warhol silkscreen, hanging on the wall," he muses. But what is dealt with in much more detail is his growing sense of isolation, coping with epilepsy as the pressures of touring build up, and the distraught domestic relations he is embroiled in with wife Debbie (Samantha Morton) and romantic-interest-from-afar Annik (Alexandra Maria Lara). "It's like it's not happening to me but someone pretending to be me. Someone dressed in my skin," he says. In a telling scene when he is under hypnosis, the camera revolves around his head as we hear voices speaking to him. "Ian, let me in, love," says his wife, "there's room to talk." Responsibilities as husband and father. A mistress who is also in love with him. A band and fan following who want more than he can give. From warholian, carefree screen-dream of youth, he has arrived at a place where he doesn't want to be. Drugs and their side-effects no longer a schoolboy's recreational laugh. Prescription bottles grip with morbid fascination. And the knowledge that doctors don't have a cure. The film carries viewers away with blistering intensity. Relative newcomer Sam Riley plays Curtis with alarming energy. With Samantha Morton, it's not what she says but what you see going through her mind. She contains her expressiveness for the camera to pick up (rather than thrusting it on us). We want to cry inside for her character. As a feat of interiorisation, Control puts her as a contender in the shoes of Meryl Streep. Supporting cast members come through with believability and sincerity, sparkling with well-honed contrasts. Toby Kebbell, fast-talking manager Rob, lifts us out of the depressive mood with wisecracks enough to make legless monkeys jump. "Where's my £20?" asks a hapless stand-in as Rob deals with an emergency. "In my f*ck-off pocket!" he barks back. Craig Parkinson is record producer and late TV presenter Tony Wilson (to whom the opening screening at the Edinburgh International Film Festival was dedicated). He demonstrates fine shades of teeth-gritting tolerance, explaining to the band, seconds before their first live TV show: yes, 'large dog's c*ck' counts as swearing, and would mean the broadcast is pulled. Established Romanian actress, Alexandra Maria Lara, succeeds in making Annik far more than the two-dimensional bit-of-fluff that would have been an easy course. As potential home-breaker, it is tempting to hate her, yet her character is shown with the intellectual appreciation and chemistry that Debbie can no longer offer. Morton, in the Q&A after the Edinburgh premiere, links the film to Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. It is the kitchen-sink, downtrodden existence that her Debbie inhabits. Cinematography is also reminiscent of this period, with its careful black-and-white observation of working class streets. I watched it a second time, enjoying careful compositions and suggestive mise-en-scene. But director Anton Corbijn is typically modest. "I really wanted you to look at the actors on the screen and only afterwards at the look of the film." While Ian, in Debbie's eyes, might be the licentious and 'angry young man' of social realism drama, the Control scenes from which she is tormentedly absent show another side: the world experienced by her husband (a reference in the film likens his isolation to Brando's character in Apocalypse Now). "And we would go on as though nothing was wrong. And hide from these days we remained all alone." Riley takes on manic expressions as if marching away from an impending epileptic fit while singing Transmission. It is such a potent, almost frightening feat, that we have to shake ourselves to remember he only got the part when he was stuck for a job. "Not a lot was going on in my life before this, so I was appreciative – for the work and the money," he tells the opening night audience. "I imagine this will have opened doors for you," I had said to him earlier; he smiled like a man who still can't believe his good luck. But the 'luck' is very well deserved. His 'Ian' is physically and mentally complex. When I had managed to stop him on the Red Carpet long enough to congratulate him, Mr Riley explains that he had a friend who was an epileptic. "I witnessed an attack often enough to be able to copy it." Although the film has a driving energy that takes our breath away, it drifts a little towards the tragic conclusion. We know the ending and it is a case of waiting for it to happen. And although it features plenty of excellent Joy Division tracks, any music biopic will never be good enough or accurate enough for some fans. Fortunately this is not just for music fans but for serious film fans as well. It careers in a tightly controlled arc, where music biopic meets cinematic excellence. Why should you see it? "Some people visit the past for sentimental reasons," says Corbijn. "Some people visit the past to understand the present better." Control is not in the sentimental exercise category.

Reviewed by howard.schumann 10 / 10 / 10

An extremely moving experience

Days away from embarking on a long dreamed about tour of the United States, Ian Curtis, the lead singer of the band Joy Division, hanged himself on May 23, 1980 from a rope in the kitchen of his apartment. His suicide not only ended his promising young life but also the dreams of a generation. Twenty seven years after his death, the eulogizing continues. Last year saw a documentary by Christian Davies: Joy Division: Under Review and this year has brought two more films: Joy Division: The Last True Story In Pop by Grant Gee and Control, the winner of the Camera d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Based on the 1996 memoir "Touching From a Distance" by Ian's widow Deborah Curtis, the film follows Curtis' life from his teenage years to his tragic death at age twenty three. Unlike conventional bio-pics like Ray and Walk the Line with their star glamorizing propensities, Control delivers a three-dimensional portrait of a real human being and how his troubles affected the people closest to him. The film is directed by photographer and video director Anton Corbijn, a celebrated photographer who took some of the most recognized photos of Joy Division. Because he knew and worked with the band, the emotional connection to its subject is palpable. The film is shot in black and white and the choice underscores the grayness of Curtis' home town of Macclesfield, England and the grim mood of much of the work. The major reason for the film's success, however, rests with lead actor Sam Riley who eerily recreates Curtis in appearance and voice. He performs all of the band's iconic songs such as Atmosphere, Love Will Tear Us Apart, and Twenty-Four Hours himself, using Curtis' robotic hand motions on stage to great effect. Another outstanding performance is that of Samantha Morton who plays Deborah Curtis, Ian's loving and patient wife who is overwhelmed by her husband's success and her new responsibilities as a mother of their daughter. Married at a very young age, both husband and wife lack the strength to make a go of it especially with the pressure of Curtis' epileptic seizures growing worse, and Ian's on again off again affair with Belgian journalist Annik (Alexandra Maria Lara). Though the subject matter is melancholy, Matt Greenhalgh's script provides a light touch filled with trenchant one-liners from the group's manager Rob Gretton (Tony Kebbell) and witty remarks from band members Joe Anderson, James Anthony Pearson and Harry Treadaway. Although Curtis has become one of rock's most mythologized figures, Riley plays him simply as a very innocent, down to earth young man whose talent was much greater than his ability to handle it. Control is an extremely moving experience whether or not you have foreknowledge of the events of Curtis' life. It is a film that has the power to touch and leave memories that are indelible.

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