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'Joy Division' - Joe's Take

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

2008 | 15+ | 93mins | Dir. Grant Gee

A chronological account of the influential late 1970s English rock band.

As someone who has never gotten into Joy Division, naturally this film wasn’t as enjoyable for me as it would be to a fan. However as someone who knows so little about the band and Ian Curtis’ tragic story this was definitely worth a watch purely from a psychological standpoint.

The chaotic graphics and varied use of stock footage, old photographs and newspaper headlines is where the film works best to pull you back to Manchester in the 1970’s & 80’s.

The visuals of staged interviews feel a little out of place against the rough and ready style of the rest of the film. I feel as though taking a similar approach to Asif Kapadi’s ‘Amy’ where the footage is strictly related to the subject of conversation would have been more effective to keep us focused on the story. Understandably however, when those close to Curtis discuss his death there are a mixture of emotions that warrant the visual expression of each band member as we as the audience need all of the help we can get to understand the devastating situation.

The sound of Joy Division and the voice of Ian Curtis lingers throughout and sadly leaves you wondering what could have been.

INTERVIEWEES: Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Bernard Sumner

BEST QUOTE: "Every other band were on stage because they wanted to be rockstars. This lot were on stage because they had no f****** choice”

TRIVIA: When Annik Honoré had to fly home after Ian Curtis' funeral, Tony Wilson, not knowing her surname, bought her an airline ticket under the name "A.Curtis".

IF YOU LIKED: Amy, Supersonic, Cobain: Montage of Heck

Joe Gist

Creative Director

Blink Vivid

'Joy Division' Trailer

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