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Control (2007)

Biography, Drama, Music |.

Control is a British biographical film about the life of Ian Curtis, singer of the late-1970s English post-punk band Joy Division. It is the first feature film directed by Anton Corbijn, who had worked with Joy Division as a photographer.

The screenplay by Matt Greenhalgh was based on the biography Touching from a Distance by Curtis’s widow Deborah, who served as a co-producer on the film. Tony Wilson, who released Joy Division’s records through his Factory Records label, also served as a co-producer. Curtis’ bandmates Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, and Stephen Morris provided incidental music for the soundtrack via their post-Joy Division incarnation New Order. Control was filmed partly on location in Nottingham, Manchester, and Macclesfield, including areas where Curtis lived, and was shot in colour and then printed to black-and-white. Its title comes from the Joy Division song “She’s Lost Control”, and that much of the plot deals with the notion that Curtis tried to remain in control of his own life, and yet had no control over his epilepsy and pharmaceutical side effects.

Ian Curtis and Debbie Woodruff marry in 1975 in their home town of Macclesfield at ages 19 and 18, respectively. Ian retreats from domestic life, preferring to write poetry in solitude. On 4 June 1976 they attend a Sex Pistols concert with Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, and Terry Mason, who are starting a band. Mesmerized by the concert, Ian volunteers to be their singer. They name themselves Warsaw, and Terry moves into a managerial role with the addition of drummer Stephen Morris. The band debuts 19 May 1977 and soon rename themselves Joy Division. Ian and Debbie finance their first EP, An Ideal for Living (1978).

During his job as an employment agent, Ian witnesses his client Corinne Lewis suffering a seizure. Unsatisfied with the brief mention Joy Division receives from television host Tony Wilson, Ian demands that he put the band on his programme. In April 1978 Joy Division plays a battle of bands, impressing Tony and Rob Gretton, who becomes their new manager. They perform “Transmission” on Tony’s programme and sign to his Factory Records label; Tony signs the contract using his own blood.

Director: Anton Corbijn

Writers: Deborah Curtis (book), Matt Greenhalgh (screenplay)

Stars: Sam Riley, Samantha Morton, Craig Parkinson, Alexandra Maria Lara, Joe Anderson, James Anthony Pearson, Harry Treadaway


Sam RileyIan Curtis
Samantha MortonDebbie Curtis
Alexandra Maria LaraAnnik Honore
Joe AndersonPeter Hook aka Hooky
James Anthony PearsonBernard Sumner
Harry TreadawaySteve Morris
Craig ParkinsonTony Wilson
Toby KebbellRob Gretton
Andrew SheridanTerry
Robert ShellyTwinny
Richard BremmerMr. Curtis – Ian’s Father
Tanya MyersIan’s Mother
Martha Myers LoweIan’s Sister (as Martha Myers-Lowe)
Matthew McNultyNick
David WhittingtonChemistry Teacher
Margaret JackmanMrs. Brady
Mary Jo RandleDebbie’s Mother (as Mary-Jo Randle)
Ben NaylorMartin Hannet
John Cooper ClarkeSelf
James FortuneMC
Angus AddenbrookeColin
Nicola HarrisonCorrine
June AllissCorrine’s Mother
George NewtonStudio Owner
Mark JardineOther Band Manager
Herbert GrönemeyerLocal GP
Paul ArlingtonHospital Doctor
Tim PlesterEarnest
Joanna SwainMaternity Nurse
Joseph MarshallAlan from Crispy Ambulance
Laura ChambersClaire
Eliot Otis Brown WaltersFootballing Kid (as Elliot Brown-Walters)
Monica AxelssonTony Wilson’s Girlfriend
Lotti ClossGillian Gilbert
Eady WilliamsBaby Natalie
Nigel HarrisTramp (uncredited)

Sources: imdb & wikipedia

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