Wednesday, October 24, 2007



Tony Wilson signing the recording contract in his own blood; Rob Gretton forcing him to peel the plaster from one of his mutilated fingers to have another go at spelling Stephen Morris’ surname.

The fact that Tony spelled it correctly the first time, and Rob is lying about the extra ‘s’.

Toby Kebell’s Rob Gretton in general, and in particular in his underpants, too early in the day, scratching his balls as he answers the payphone in his shared house. This directly follows a scene in which he sells himself to Joy Division as their manager, largely on the basis that he has a phone and the other fellow doesn’t.

Sam Riley reading ‘So this is permanence / Love’s shattered pride / What once was innocence / Turned on its side’ over the beginning of a particularly gloomy scene. The lameness of the last line compared to the other three, especially when read rather than sung. The humanity in imperfection.

The way at the end you don’t quite think Ian Curtis is such a bastard as you do two thirds of the way through.

The conclusion you’re lead to, reasonably gently, that Curtis used his suicide to impress on Deborah his sincerity in not wanting their marriage to end, despite his inability to end his affair with Annike.

The bizarre transposition of Joy Division’s TV performance of ‘Transmission’ to a set resembling the one on Ready Steady Go! – individual circular white pedestals for each band member, on which they stood motionless as Tony Wilson introduced them. Joy Division reclaimed as a pop act (and there is a pop thrill to ‘Transmission’).

Listening to the actual Joy Division for the first time in too long.


Other Woman Annike’s total nothingness as a character (it shows that the film is based on a book by her rival – so she becomes a pretty face, vacant beyond that).

The only line given to Stephen Morris, during a late night interview with Annike. ‘What do you find beautiful?’ ‘I saw this really beautiful drum kit once…’ – delivered thicko drummer style, rather than the sardonic way he might actually have said it.

With Curtis dead, we see the remaining members of Joy Division at a table in a pub looking numb. For the first time, Stephen has been joined by his girlfriend Gillian. As well he might have been, so I’m not sure why I disliked this so much – maybe it felt a bit Biblical, they shall rise again as New Order being the implication.

The ghoulishness of New Order writing the soundtrack to Curtis’ last night alive. Also the fact that you could see him playing Iggys The Idiot, but not hear it.

The final shot of the film, a crematorium, black smoke ekes from its chimney, dispersing into the atmosphere. ‘Atmosphere’ plays on the soundtrack.

Samantha Morton, 30, not quite convincing as a shy 16 / 17-year-old hanging out in Curtis’ bedroom, mumbling and necking. Though she made up for this with her simple trust and touching disillusionment later on.

Realising the power Joy Division still have – thought I’d shaken that years ago.

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