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  • Gareth Crook

Joy Division (2007) - 7/10

It’s a documentary about Joy Division. In truth that’s all the review you need, but this is a solid watch and if you don’t know much beyond the music this is worth your time. It’s sticks to the chronology of events faithfully, which makes it a nice easy watch. As in its easy to follow. There’s not much that’s easy about the bands story. Born in the industrial north, Manchester in the 70s was bleak. Don’t let the older generations fool you with tales of ‘the good old days’, it was shit. Out of these sorts of situations though rises amazing things and Joy Division or Warsaw in the earlier incarnation were amazing. There’s an impressive role call of contributors in Tony Wilson, Pete Shelley, Paul Morley, Peter Saville, Kevin Cummins and Anton Corbijn, as well as the band themselves. That tell the story of punk, escapism, finding meaning, struggling with getting gigs, working hard, politics of the day, the creation of Unknown Pleasures and Closer and the bands relationship with them. There’s some fantastic archive, including lots of shots of Manchester that I remember as a teenager, now all replaced of course and tons of film and audio recordings I’ve never seen before. The myth of Ian Curtis looms large, his epilepsy, the drugs to control it, his family problems and depression, especially as we get toward the journeys conclusion, but there’s a whole lot more here. Director Grant Gee has crafted a loving and informative doc that any music fan will be gripped by.


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