Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A blindness that touches perfection

The Gloucester Guildhall, in its wisdom, hosted a showing of the Ian Curtis biopic, Control last Saturday and, despite a sorry inability to locate a long bottle-green raincoat, I attended with S and A2. I suppose I know the Joy Division story well. As a young man, weight on shoulders, I embraced this remarkable combo’s dark and compelling sounds with wholehearted vim. I possess countless books about the group and, naturally, all the recordings. I even own a book of Joy Division lyrics in Italian translation format which I believe I purchased in Berlin in 1989. You can’t pick that up in ASDA. The feature film was compelling and interesting nonetheless; after all, this is a tale where you don’t need to avoid spoilers. I confess the suicide element, although tragic and worthy of a hundred ‘what if?’ conversations, takes second place to the music. I appreciated the grainy reconstruction of backroom gigs and grubby backstage environs and the portrayal of the rather haphazard manner in which a band that created some of the most searingly beautiful soundscapes of the last century was marketed and managed was fascinating too. The film highlighted the ordinariness of the Joy Division fellows cleverly: the bonhomie, laddishness, youth and unpretentious wide-eyed enthusiasm of Curtis, Hook, Morris and Sumner is clearly demonstrated. They wrote Decades though. And The Eternal. And New Dawn Fades. And Atmosphere. Here is the incredible story for me. The film was marvellous and fascinating but if you really require an insight into the art and genius of four down to earth blokes from the north-west, give yourself a spare hour or two and listen to Unknown Pleasures and Closer and the three main singles, Transmission, Love Will Tear Us Apart and Atmosphere. Joy Division make art. This is an essential group. This is an essential group.

No comments: