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Control and Joy Division (DVD)

Control DVDControl (Weinstein Company)

Joy Division (Weinstein Company)

It’s easy to forget sometimes how effortlessly someone can fade from a person to a legend. It can be as simple as a good story, an early death, and a little time. Twenty-eight years after his death at age 23, we have more of his story.

A dual release of rockudrama Control and traditional documentary Joy Division attempts to fill in the colors of an unfinished sketch and ends up as grey and haunting as the Manchester location that dominates Ian Curtis‘ story.

Wracked by the onset of grand mal seizures, rocketing fame (in a decidedly anti-fame scene), increasingly demanding touring schedules, a faltering marriage, fatherhood, and the general depression that often surrounds guys in their twenties who are struggling to figure out who they are while putting on a good face, is it any wonder Ian Curtis danced like a spastic?

Both films focus on Curtis as the center of the story, and it’s hard not to when your hero’s end is tragic, but you’re left wondering about the other three dudes—who went on after Curtis’ death to form New Order, one of the most influential bands of the 80s and 90s. Still, there’s only so much time and Curtis is a fascinating figure.

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