United Kingdom
Directed by Anton Corbijn
Based on Deborah Curtis's biography “Touching from a Distance,” “Control” follows the rise and fall of Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis, from his youth to his suicide on the eve of the band’s first American tour in 1980. 122 min.


I saw this movie last night, and ran from the theatre sobbing.   The end was just a bit too real for me. Too much like what happened the night Kris & I went to Brad's apartment.

But it was an empty pain.  I wanted to call someone to share my emotion, but didn't know exactly what to share.   It's not that people weren't there for me, I just had no idea what to say to them.   Brad's dead.  I'm sad.  The movie reminded me.

I had a good cry, and went back into the theatre for the post-movie discussion.

That's it.  No epiphanies.  No profound insights.  Just a brief jaunt through raw human emotion.   Nothing changed; I'm no different because of it.

I did wonder, was this band Brad liked.?   But if it is, what was I doing at the movie?   I feel like an intruder on a part of his world he didn't intend me to be in and that I don't really understand.  If he didn't know of or like the band, than I've learned nothing about him.

 I only just now understand why I'm writing this blog. - Because I want there to be meaning in my experience. But there isn't.




Yes there is

I think we have all been there, and go there regularly. Something sets me off and I try to decide why. What was it. There must be a reason I just started crying. There is meaning in your experience. It is your experience and it made you sad, or brought up sad feelings, or something. Maybe I am reading it wrong, but it feels like you think your sadness, whether short lived or not, is not really important enough on it's own. It is. Call me, call Mom, call Pat, call Sam. If you are sad, that is important enough for a phone call when you feel you want to. Just feeling it, that has a lot of meaning.


a quick reply...

A lot of us have always been sheltered from reality.  Now, when we see reality, even if it is just reenacted in a movie, we understand and recognize.  Both movies and real life have a depth I never realized.  Granny & Grampa were natural.  Uncle Eddie and Brad were not.  My feelings and reaction to their passing can now be seen in others grieving in real life and in the movies.  Same goes for seeing death in real life or the movies; I know that there is a life lost that could have had a future, and I know there are people left behind that are going to hurt, and I know that hurt.

We recognize, we sympathize, we empathize.  We now know, and we are less likely to say to ourselves or others, "I can imagine how they feel."  We now know.

Shortly after returning from Chicago last year, there was a lady walking around causing a commotion.  I went outside, and she said she was lost and trying to find her friends house.  She said her uncle had died.  She was drunk, and she was the type of person I would look at and say, "Crack addict white trash."  But, I could recognize her pain as genuine whereas I may have thought I recognized it before (and not felt for her).  I would have thought she was rambling, but now I realized she couldn't speak.  Anyway, I let her use my phone and we walked around the neighborhood until she found where she needed to go.  It didn't matter that I was horribly uncomfortable around this person, or that I had assumptions about her lifestyle, I didn't want to see anyone hurting like that.  I recognized, sympathized, and empathized. 

I do have the movie "24-hour Party People", which is about the head of the "label" that handled Joy Division and Happy Mondays.  There was a little bit about Ian Curtis in there.  Hanging with Jr, I have already seen a singer in the scene who had the shakes before his set, and it broke my heart to wonder about what this person was doing to himself.  I watched him take a joint that was handed to him, and his hand was trembling.  What I saw in 24-Hour Party People was people with an absolute ton of money and success who had access to a never-ending supply of drugs and bad influences because of it.  Brad's scene was made up of mostly punks who are against that level of success, so it was certainly different.  But, watching that singer's hand shake, I have to wonder how different.

I did notice the difference between the singer from Happy Mondays and Ian Curtis, though... the guy from Happy Mondays was just oblivious and out of control.  Ian Curtis was troubled and a thinker.  The movie never went into it, but that is how they were portrayed during the little snippets they were in.  As troubled and angry and depressed as Ian appeared, they had the head of the label reflect back on a moment that stuck with him... an instance where Ian appeared to be happy and having fun.  This reminded me of a shrink asking me, "Do you ever have moments of euphoria?"  I do.  I have moments where the world or humanity is so beautiful I want to freeze time.  Sounds great?  I swear, I will always have the impression that she was asking because moments of euphoria are bad, like these rare moments are the up-side of extreme mood swings rather than natural happiness.  I looked at that scene in the movie and wondered.

Patrick Cassidy