Joy Division (The Miriam Collection)
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Top Customer Reviews
Interestingly enough the documentary starts off with a quote, that I found to be quite compelling:
To be modern is to find ourselves in an environment that promises us adventure, power, joy, growth, transformation of ourselves and the world--and at the same time that threatens to destroy everything we have, everything we know, everything we are.
--Marshall Berman, All That is Solid Melts Into Air
This will give you some indication that this is not your typical rock documentary that recounts the rise and fall of yet another generic rock band. This is a rock documentary that is completley different from any that you have seen before, and that is fitting given the subject matter. Manchester, we learn, was in many ways the first modern city. And Joy Division, in many ways was creatively inspired (if that is the right word) by the fact that they lived in a purely utilitarian city designed to maximize economic efficiency. (Bernard Sumner mentions, almost in passing, that he never saw a tree until he was nine.Read more ›
Now we can rest. Joy Division (The Miriam Collection) (2007) is the elixir we've been seeking for a lifetime. No more second rate documentaries thrown together, offering nothing. Here are the older men; New Order opening up as never before. Anton Corbijn recounting why he moved to Manchester. Annik Honore coming forward after a quarter century with a perspective only she could have. And Genesis P-Orridge.
Many people forget or aren't aware that Throbbing Gristle, the most influential band industrial music has ever known, were huge fans of Joy Division. While their musical styles are different, both offer heavy soundtracks of a grim, bleak and hopeless late 1970's England. Genesis got to know Ian towards the end of his days and offers great insight into the man well beyond the myth. Yes, Genesis does look more and more like Liza Minelli every day and that can have a disturbing effect on viewers. Yet after seeing the factory heavy landscape of Manchester and England some 30 years ago, I'm frankly surprised that anyone survived. So, grab another tube of lipstick, Genesis, and have fun.
Sometimes, penetrating the mythology and legend of a enigmatic band can be a disappointment. After learning what you longed to learn, the esotericism is gone and little remains. That is not the case here.Read more ›
The other members of Joy Division were famously quiet on the topic of Ian Curtis for many years; it's wonderful to hear them open up and talk about it. It was also enlightening to FINALLY hear from Annik Honore'. She's been kind of a biographical footnote for years, and is mentioned only in passing in Deborah Curtis's biography of Ian. Finally we can put a face to the name and hear her side of Ian's story.
If you're at all interested in Ian and the band, you'd be foolish NOT to see this.
Grant Gee's "Joy Division" is informative and rich, with a lot more to give than the very limited feature "Control." The documentary focuses on outstanding faces, in crisp black and white, filtered through Final Cut Pro - it's a tasty, original and restrained blend of a music video and straight-up talking head interviews. As each new speaker is introduced, Gee brings up his or her face in soft focus behind their name-title. As the name fades from the screen and they begin to talk, the face snaps into focus.
The personalities are priceless - the surviving members of the band are honest and bare-faced, not "rockstar" at all, never mind that as the ultra-hip New Order they had the best-selling 12" single in history with "Blue Monday." They're fabulous to watch and listen to. The historic footage of Ian Curtis shows us his sculpted white-marble features, the full mouth of Michelangelo's David, punctuated by icy blue eyes - someone in the film says his eyes were "translucent." One in a million, that face.
Annik Honore, Ian Curtis's Belgian girlfriend, is articulate and open, glamorous and ethereally beautiful. If she broke up his marriage, one of the catalysts of Curtis's final breakdown, it's easy to understand her pull on him. Curtis's wife Deborah does not appear on screen, though her writing does.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very insightful documentary. The live footage of Joy Division's performances is excellent; I had not seen such extensive footage before viewing this. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Jordan Pies
An amazing documentary about one of the greatest bands. Well put together, the pacing was good... sometimes hard to understand their British accents but I blame that on my own... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Fantastic compliment to Anton Corbijn's "Control", released about the same time… Interviews with just about all the key players regarding one of the 80's most influential... Read morePublished 3 months ago by bloodclot
I don't think I can add much to what's already been said by other reviewers. But I will pitch in my two cents by reaffirming that if you are a Joy Division fan, you simply must... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Craig
The single best music documentary ever. Prior to seeing this documentary I wasn't necessarily a Joy Division fan. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Dannen Vance