Monday, November 19, 2007


Attended the CPH:DOX Festival Gala, not to mingle with the Danish film- and art-crowd but to watch the winner of the festival's "Sound and Vision Award", Grant Gee's Joy Division

A fan of JD myself from the moment I placed their debut album Unknown Pleasures on my turntable in the mid eighties.
In short they provided sound and words that described how I felt with uncanny accuracy - Isolation, abandonment, humiliation and the undying search for new hope and redemption in a lost and predominantly hostile world.

What surprised me the most is how the surviving members of the band come across as a bunch of very charming, fun loving Mancunians, almost difficult to associate with the darkness of their music and you actually believe them when they explain that Ian Curtis was good fun too...

He was however also a poet turned on to literature's heavy-weights like William S. Burroughs and Dostoevsky, and his increasing problems with epileptic fits (which put him on prescription drugs and curtailed his new found hedonistic freedom as a rock star) the threath of divorce from his wife and the pressures of an upcoming tour of America unfortunately drove him into his suicide. He had also expressed concern that now that the band were on the verge of gaining the success they deserved they were perhaps better off without the burden of an increasingly dysfunctional lead singer.

I'd call it a must-see if you're a fan of the band or just interested in art and artists, and the great thing about this documentary is the way that it approaches the band's history in a myth-deflating manner, displaying all the paradox and humour also present (like Peter Saville who designed the famous black cover for Unknown Pleasures without having ever heard the music), and then show their early appearances on Granada Television where they come across with huge artistic power.

Retro babe"...nice get-up, honey but I thought we had agreed on doing panzer commander and the milkmaid today?..."
Panzer Strmgeschütz III
Some stugs crossing a river, probably in Russia.
(unfortunately) Also my people
(regrettably) Also my war

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