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Ode to Joy

  • Jared Paul Stern


Now that the weather feels like Manchester, we thought it appropriate to chime in on the much ballyhooed Ian Curtis biopic *Control*. While The Clash's Joe Strummer worked hard to achieve style icon status, Joy Division frontman Curtis only really reached his posthumously—and even then to a much lesser degree. Of course, since he killed himself in 1980 at the age of 23, he didn't get much of a chance. But rakish rock'n'roll photographer Anton Corbijn goes some way toward setting the record straight in his supercool film.

In truth, the stylish trappings of Curtis' life—stardom, the hot Belgian girlfriend, the proto-Hedi Slimane wardrobe—weren't all they were cracked up to be. Otherwise he wouldn't have offed himself at such a tender age. And while Corbijn, best known for his U2 videos and album covers, does milk the rock'n'roll rebel imagery for all it's worth—the entire film is shot in glorious black and white—in the end he does no real disservice to Curtis' memory. And after all, the man who practically gave birth to the entire Goth movement does have a lot to answer for.