Thursday, 2 October 2014

Control (4½ Stars)

Today was the second time I watched this film about the life of Ian Curtis. The second time round it was far more moving. I felt his pain. I compared the story with my own life. Ian married Debbie Woodruff when he was only 19. In the film he calls it a mistake, but I doubt that he ever really said it. The problem is that the film is based on a book written by his widow 15 years after his death. She never understood him. I strongly suspect that she put words into his mouth that he never spoke. I'm not saying that she was lying. I see something similar in my own life. My ex-wife says things about me which are untrue, but it's how she remembers the past. When we were together she suspected me of doing or saying things in secret, and now, years later, she's convinced herself that they really happened.

The main thing in the film that I can't take at face value is Ian's affair with Annik Honore. In recent interviews Annik has denied that she ever had an affair with Ian. I believe her. What reason would she have to lie about it, 30 years after his death? In my opinion, what happened was that Annik was a close friend and companion for Ian. He couldn't talk to Debbie, but Annik understood him. As far as Debbie was concerned there must have been a sexual relationship between them. Debbie had no understanding for her husband's real needs, which involved intellectually stimulating conversation.

The same is true of my wife. When we were married she repeatedly accused me of having a lover. She used to search my briefcase looking for telephone numbers. Just like Ian, I knew a girl that I used to talk to. She worked in a shop, and I spoke to her in the shop. I never visited her at home. I never kissed her, the most that ever happened were friendly hugs. But if you asked my wife today she would say that I was unfaithful to her for years.

I'm currently writing my life story. Actually, it's on hold. I haven't written anything for the last three months, but I intend to finish it soon. It would be interesting if my wife wrote her life story as well. I'm sure that she would describe our marriage so differently that readers would think it's a different couple. It's not just the lover yes-or-no issue, her memories of our time together are distorted in many other ways. It's tragic. She hardly knew me when we were together, and now that we've been apart for years she knows me even less.

Here are Ian and Annik. Just talking. Ironically, a lot more than talking was happening off camera. The actors Sam Riley and Alexandra Maria Lara met for the first time when making this film. They fell in love and married two years later.


  1. An awesome film this, will need to re-watch it some time

    1. It is a very good film, even though it's based on a doubtful source. In my first review I criticised the film for not showing what a genius Ian Curtis was. The documentary "Joy Division" shows this better. Watching it again I think there are hints at the depth of his intelligence.


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