October 14th, 2007


Anton Corbijn has Control

Saw the movie this afternoon.

First observation. I found it interesting that several men in the audience sported the same uniform that I have for the last several years: kahki or jeans. Stripe dress shirt. Base ball cap. Close cropped facial and head hair. Nearly all grey.

But this isn't supposed to be about me, it is the movie that we are reporting about.

I read Corbijn quoted as saying that he was not adding to or building myth around Curtis et al. Jolly good. In contrast to his photos of Curtis and the band that helped launch the mythos in the first place. Similar stark and striking photography thoughout the movie only I feel Corbijn placing the striking image within a context, trying for something like it might have been. Jolly good.

Only incongruent moment for me, which became one of those times when I seem to be the only one laughing in the theater. Curtis, distraught, goes out alone drinking. The camera scans a room of craggy old guys with their grog to alight on a troubled Curtis with his pint. I crack up since I cannot imagine a pub of old guys around 1980 that would have "What Goes On" by the Velvet Underground on the juke box (what do/did they call those things in the UK)?

I've considered that the old guys might be cameos.

What would be playing in an old men's pub in the early 80s in Macclesfield?

And true, the music is probably meant to be more the soundtrack of what was on with Curtis than the music of the pub. I just think the moment of alienation would have been better with Rod Stewart or some similar but lessor known torture.
eye in hand

More Control

In typical manner, after seeing the movie I'm spending hours reading what others say online. One imdb commenter who liked the movie but thought the band's songs were too conveniently packaged to reflect the moments of the bio. A big fan, though, they end their comments quoting lyrics from the song Transmission:

Listen to the silence, let it ring on
Eyes dark, relentless, frightened of the sun,
we would have a fine time living in the night
Left a blind instruction,
take away our sight !

The writer is commenting from France and their nickname is Japanese (look for comment by moimoichan6 if you want to read it yourself) so recognizing English may not be their first language I'm not trying to belittle what they wrote but the lyrics did not seem quite right.

I went and looked in the Deborah Curtis book (Touching from a Distance) in which she includes every lyic written by Ian:

Listen to the silence, let it ring on.
Eyes, dark grey lenses frightened of the sun.
We would have a fine time living in the night,
Left to blind destruction,
Waiting for our sight !

On the other hand, often the results of mis-heard words can be quite creative, don't you think.