Sunday, November 11, 2007
Joy Division You Cunt
Last night in the dark of Fox Tower theater number ten things happened for me that don't happen as often as I'd like. But when they do, I'm a happy man. During the first thirty or forty minutes of Anton Corbijn's Control there were at least four times that I was close to exclaiming aloud, "This is brilliant." My foot was tapping away during the music scenes and my entire being was engaged throughout. Control is not a passive experience, even in its excruciating quiet moments. Sam Riley is fucking fantastic. He'll get nominated for a BAFTA and should do for an AMPAS Oscar as well, but American Gangster will probably suck up two of the nominations for the pedestrian work of Denzel and R. Crowe. That's the last I'll sully this post with negativity regarding Hollywood.
So yeah, Riley was top notch. I'll see anything that this guy is in until further notice. Not a moment that his performance didn't entrance and delight me. How many times have you read such lofty goo-goo here at FF? To top it off, he sang all the Ian Curtis songs for the film. I really liked what Joaquin did with Johnny Cash and his songs in Walk the Line, but I wouldn't buy the recordings. Here's another one of those unique reactions to a film, I want the soundtrack if it includes the cast performances. I own the soundtrack to very few films: Collections of Ennio Morricone and Nino Rota (can't go wrong with the compositions from Leone, Fellini and The Godfather), Buffalo 66(Vinny made more off of the soundtrack than the movie, and rightfully so. Prog-rock and Sinatra, anyone?), Grease (I could say for my kids, but that wouldn't be entirely true), Traffic (Really disliked the film overall, but the music was genius), Jesus's Son (Samantha Morton is in that, too) and the Vietnamese film Three Seasons (I can listen to it over and over, check it out). There are few that I'd like to add. Maybe some Lalo Shifrin. Most stuff like John Williams or Henry Mancini I don't want to hear out of context. That's another thing about the film, it makes me digress. It fills me with interest in all the things that intrigue me.
Samantha Morton is solid as always. Her role is pretty narrow in its focus, but she makes you feel the ordinary pain of losing someone on a daily basis. She isn't some cipher that gets left in fame's wake. Her on-screen rival for Ian's love is played by Alexandra Maria Lara. Corbijn and the actors navigate the love triangle beautifully. Like Ian Curtis, you never know who has your heart. Lara played Hitler's secretary in Downfall, another gripping film.
I want to see the Joe Strummer biopic playing at Cinema 21, but I chose Control last night because it seemed more worthy of the big screen. Velvety blacks, creamy whites -- oh the joys of black and white. It made me want to shoot a film in black and white. Which brings me to another unique movie-going experience regarding Control - I wish I had made the film. I admire the experience of making it as well as its making.