Joy Division film premieres at Cannes

Ian Curtis biopic 'Control' makes its debut at film festival

Joy Division film ‘Control’ has been screened for the first time at the Cannes Film Festival.

The film, directed by rock photographer Anton Corbijn, charts the life of the band’s lead singer Ian Curtis, who committed suicide aged 23, and is based on a book by his widow Deborah.

The movie which, stars 10,000 Things singer Sam Riley in his first major acting role and Oscar-nominated actress Samantha Morton, has received positive notices from critics at the film festival after opening its Directors’ Fortnight.

Also present at the screening yesterday (May 17) was Joy Division drummer and later member of New Order Stephen Morris, who told Reuters it was a strange experience watching his life on film.

“Somehow last night watching it for the second time, but with a load of people, was like seeing your youth laid bare in front of an audience, it was like being dissected on a slab,” he explained.

Shot in monochrome, director Corbijn – famed for his sepia photography – explained he felt the film needed to appear austere to accurately recapture his memories of working with the band in the late 70s and early 80s.

“My whole memory of that period is black and white,” he explained. “There is basically no colour photography of that band around. So it felt very proper to the project.”

A box office release date for ‘Control’ is yet to be confimed, although as previously reported New Order – the band Joy Division became after Curtis’ death – are involved in the soundtrack along with the likes of The Killers, who premiered their contribution, a cover of the Manchester band’s track ’Shadowplay’, at the Shockwaves NME Awards in March.

Also being premiered at this year’s Cannes festival is a new U2 film, ’U2 3D’, which will get its first showing tomorrow night (May 19).