A chronological account of the influential late 1970s English rock band.
A chronological account of the influential late 1970s English rock band.
"Punk enabled you to say 'fuck you', but somehow it couldn't go any further. It was just a single, venomous one syllable, two-syllable phrase of anger. Sooner or later someone was going to want to say more than 'fuck you'. Someone was going to want to say 'I'm fucked'. And it was Joy Division who were the first band to do that, to use the energy and simplicity of punk to express more complex emotions." — Tony Wilson, co-founder of Factory Records.
This is probably a gross oversimplification of earlier punk rock, but it does speak to why Joy Division remain one of my favorite bands. Here we have a documentary which pieces together lots of stock footage and photos…
March 2016 Scavenger Hunt
Task #6. A film about a music band, fictional or real
An excellent documentary about a legendary band from my home city.
This story was already very familiar to me and probably to most. But there's something about being told it by Hooky & the boys themselves that makes it just magic. It's an inspiring tale which unfortunately can only end with tears but it's an important viewing and I'm really glad I watched it.
One of the most important bands to emerge from the Manchester music scene of the 1970s was Joy Division, whose original punk routes quickly evolved into something much darker and deeper, thanks to their singer and lyricist, Ian Curtis, who had a short, troubled but productive life up to his death by suicide in May 1980.
This documentary by Grant Gee presents the facts from the embryonic performances of the band as teenagers when they were known as Warsaw, through to the creation of their two albums, 'Unknown Pleasures' and 'Closer', and the archive of live performances which show a quartet who played together with ease around their mesmerising frontman, whose intelligent but depressing lyrics and frenzied dancing gave us…
Viewed on DVD
"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."
Marshal Berman, All That Is Solid Melts Into Air
The beautiful and sad story of Joy Division.
R.I.P. Ian Curtis
May 18 1980
What a spectacular insight into the sights, sounds and mood of one of the most groundbreaking bands in history. If you want a decent triple bill one night, I suggest this, followed by Anton Corbjin's 'Control', followed by Michael Winterbottom's '24 Hour Party People'.
The talking heads from those close to (and in) the band are honest and transparent whilst the editing is superb.
A brilliant Documentary.
I came of age during the 00s era of the garage rock/post punk revival, when NME was hyping debut albums left right and center. Despite developing a fond love for the punk to britpop scene-shifting period of well chronicled British rock and embracing it as a form of Anglo heritage, Joy Division were not my band. They were my brother's band, the more purely post-punk oriented Editors and Interpol loving bass guitarist. I found more immediate appeal in various other touchstones of the period, from the Happy Mondays to The Stone Roses to Ride to Oasis to Trip Hop to The Arctic Monkeys. I'd rather Blue Monday than Unknown Pleasures. I was too young and gay to wish to spend…
”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, from ’All That Is Solid Turns To Air’
Walk in silence
Don't walk away, in silence
See the danger
Don't walk away
On June 4, 1975, The Sex Pistols played a concert at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester, England. Only about 40 people were there, but that concert changed music history. Many of those in attendance were inspired to form their own bands. Joy Division was one of those bands.
Joy Division only recorded 2 albums and a handful of singles before lead singer Ian Curtis committed suicide in 1980, but they're still a massively influential band. The remaining band members reformed as New Order, who continue to release music.
This documentary traces the formation of the band all the way through to the end. All of the band members and other important figures are interviewed. Curtis' widow does not appear, but quotes from her are shown throughout the film. A lot of recorded footage is presented and many Joy Division songs are played throughout.
This Joy Division documentary is a fitting tribute to an amazing band.
It is not a bad document on the band's evolution, but there are some clumsy decisions here. The most remarkable one: closing such a bleak history with New Order's success in the last 3 minutes. That last scene is trying to give a good-feeling vibe to a very tragic life.
William S. Burroughs telling off Ian Curtis at a signing is like the sad boy hipster equivalent of... I don't know what now but that's hillarious.
Grant Gee's experimental doc JOY DIVISION (2007) gave me a better appreciation for the iconic band, pioneers of the post-punk sound and aesthetic. Made me want to dive deeper into Ian Curtis' estranged lyrics and give UNKNOWN PLEASURES another chance.
I will say that while the style is very reminiscent of his earlier (brilliant) Radiohead doc, MEETING PEOPLE IS EASY, it's not quite as engaging as that one. Lots more of your standard talking heads here—with some experimental riffing to spice things up.
Telling the story of Joy Division from their diy punk roots to their abrupt ending due to the suicide of singer Ian Curtis, I can’t say how this documentary would work for someone unfamiliar with the overall story of the band. However, as an intense New Order fan who has seen The New Order Story & 24 Hour Party People and read Peter Hook & Bernard Sumner’s books, Joy Division helped further my understanding of the band and its internal dynamics.
Interviews with the surviving members of the band and those who are participated or witnessed their story are combined with a surprising amount of filmed performances and footage of locations as they are today. Death hovers over the whole film as…
I hope that there will be another artistic entity that is as demanding, defining and contextually coherent as Joy Division is, but I'm not so sure.
Joy Division, the documentary written by Jon Savage, is a good companion piece to Control, which is essentially the fictionalized version of the same story. It has all the talking heads of people who were relevant to the rise and fall of Joy Division as well as live performances and various other artifacts. I was surprised to see that several scenes that I thought were embellished from the film were actual occurrences, like the time that Bernard Summer hypnotized Ian Curtis to see if he had experienced any previous lives for example. The film is a more artistic rendering of the same story, but both examples are compelling in their own rights. However, I would have to say that the documentary is probably more for serious fans, whereas the film version can be appreciated for the cinematography and dramatized aspect of the short, intense life of Ian Curtis.
Movie Maestro 1,239 films
This is a list of every rock music documentary that I have come across. I also threw in some other…