In The Shadow Play
Directed by Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn, Control is set to open in UK cinemas in March, 2 years after its American producers Orian Williams and Tom Eckhert first contacted Mojo to discuss their new project. Eckert has spoken about their lengthy effort to get the film off the ground, having optioned the rights to ‘Touching from a distance’ in the late 90’s. “I don’t think there are many really great stories out there.” said Todd. “But this is one of them.”
Williams, in particular, felt it crucial to find a director whom both Deborah and the surviving members of Joy Division could trust. Though Anton Corbijn had yet to direct a full feature film, the Dutchman’s credentials were impeccable. In 1980 he moved from Holland to Britain specifically to photograph the group, his iconic shots for NME launching a career that would see him in the 80’s and beyond become first choice lensman for U2, Depeche Mode and R.E.M.
Indeed it was non other than Bono who told Williams at a party in 2004, “You’ve got to get Anton to direct this movie”.
“Initially, (Corbijn) did not want to make a film about a musician”, explains Williams. “But then he realized it wasn’t a conventional biopic, it was a love story.” Once on board the director’s first stipulation was that the film should be shot in moody black and white. The result, says Williams has an “abstract poetic, epic feel, but it’s not arty, its not a fever dream. Its traditionally mapped out- Antons a big fan of old English movies, he loves David Lean, Truffuant, Jim Jarmush, (Loach’s) Kes.”
Control – part-financed by Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore – has, it seems won some important fans. The surviving members of Joy Division saw a preview on November 28th, reporting to Mojo that they “very much approve of it and will be backing it 100%”. “Initially the group were disinterested in the film, but at the same time were intrigued and wanted to get involved” says Williams. “When we first met them backstage at a gig in Liverpool in 2005, Bernard said ‘Just have some fun with it.’ We did and the finished Movie is amazing.”
Control will be released in spring 2007, for more info go to www.controlthemovie.com