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Joy Division [DVD]

33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Directors: Grant Gee
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: None
  • Dubbed: None
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: None
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Universal
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Aug. 2008
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001B2S41I
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,128 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Hot on the heels of the Ian Curtis biopic, 'Control' (2007), comes this highly acclaimed documentary about one of the most influential bands to come out of the Manchester punk scene of the late 1970s. It provides a chronological account of the band's formation and growth up until Curtis's suicide and features candid interviews with the remaining band members who went on to become the equally influential New Order. The film also contains various clips of the band's performances as well as previously unseen footage.

Synopsis

Fans of the gloomy Manchester-based band from the late 1970s will have less to feel down about with the release of this rockumentary. Joy Division follows the unlikely rise of these working class lads up to Ian Curtis's suicide, which tore the band apart until it was reborn as New Order. Included here is rare footage of the group as well as their moody and starkly photographed videos, capturing the essence of what made Joy Division so special and so tragic.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey M. Black on 13 Aug. 2008
Format: DVD
Aside from The Beatles, there can't be many bands as mythologised and documented as Joy Division. Happily, this does what 'The Filth & The Fury' did for the Sex Pistols; the people who were there tell the story of what really happened.

Apart from the archive material that's widely available on YouTube, it has a couple of 'scoops'. An eerie cassette of Ian Curtis being hypnotised by Bernard and apparently regressing to a past life is undeniably fascinating and a little chilling. However, the film's main coup is having the elusive Annik Honore appear on camera for the first time (for those not familiar, she was Curtis's Belgian mistress and has refused to talk in public up till now). She comes across and quite sensitive and wise. This is probably why there is no Deborah Curtis though.

The extras take the form of 48 various interview out-takes, featuring the usual reliable anecdotes from the band, the late Tony Wilson and others. Ex-roadie Terry Mason musing on what its like having to deal with the consequences of Curtis's death without the cushioning aspect of the band's fame is particularly poignant.

The documentary is the closest we'll get to the final word on Joy Division. Devotees young and old will revel in it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Hans on 10 Jun. 2011
Format: DVD
When reading Deborah Curtis's memoir "Touching from a Distance", the real revelation to me came at the appendix where all the Joy Division lyrics are printed shoulder to shoulder. To a shocking degree they express fear, disgust, alienation, confusion, or guilt. This observation is shared by one of the persons interviewed in the documentary: "Was THAT what he was singing???"
In hindsight, we feel that the signs must have been everywhere, but as the film shows us, nobody knew or cared where to look. I mean, pulling someone from their hospital bed to have them play a gig the night after a suicide attempt?

Everybody, including the medical people, seems to have been utterly clueless. This documentary reinforces my impression of a boy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time and didn't really stand a chance.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Colin McCartney TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Aug. 2008
Format: DVD
Less is more. The genius of this documentary is Jon Savage's interview technique. The 3 surviving Joy Division members talk with the interviewer like they were talking to a mate in the pub, in a totally unaffected manner. The end result is the most insightful piece on Ian Curtis to date and - surprise, surprise - he was just an ordinary guy.

Slick production values (Peter Saville is a "consultant") give the video a pleasing Factory-ish feel. The copious extras (unused interview snippets from the various participants) are bitty but something that avid fans will want to work their way through religiously.

Curiosity value is added in the short contributions from Richard H. Kirk and Genesis P. Orridge (who looks more like Pete Burns than I remember).

A well put together, well presented film by people who clearly understand Joy Division.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Mar. 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Joy Division, the mercurial Manchester based masters of dark post punk sounds, who in Ian Curtis had one of the eras most tortured souls.

Directed by Grant Gee and written by Jon Savage, this documentary actually brings nothing new to the table for hardened fans of the band, of which I am unashamedly amongst that number. There is a tendency with musical documentaries to be over praised by fans simply because, well, they just love to see their idols/heroes/inspirations up there on the screen. Grant Gee's film has strong merits as an introduction for those new to the band, for the curious and to those hypnotised by tunes so hauntingly poetic they can reduce you to tears, but again for those who have followed Joy Division and their subsequent brotherhood band, New Order, there is nothing to be learned here.

The absence of Deborah Curtis (Ian's widow) from the doc is annoying, where we are only given printed quotes from her. One can only guess that she refused to be sharing screen space with her love rival, and fellow tormentor of Ian Curtis' psyche, Annik Honoré, the latter of which who is more than happy to fuel the documentary fire. At times this feels like a copy of Anton Corbijn's superb film, Control, only with the real life band members and entourage commenting from the edges of the frame. But then there is of course the live excerpts of the band, which lifts this up to the high levels set by Control and Deborah Curtis' excellent book, Touching from a Distance.

In that, there is the crux, Joy Division the film is essential for fans, to see that performance of Shadowplay and etc etc, it's these moments that make us forgive the narrative, which quite frankly, is a bit of a cash cow cash in. And I really do say that with heavy heart. 8/10
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By S. P. Sanders on 13 Aug. 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
With 'Control' and, to a lesser extent, '24 Hour Party People' giving the Joy Division story fresh momentum, this documentary is a timely addition which will provide informative background to fans old and new. Very well contextualised, the viewer is given insight into the socio-economic and class structures of the times, the impact of punk on Manchester, and what the denizens of that city did to sing along to the new music.

Key players of the era get face time as they add colour to the narrative, and of course you get the surviving band members; as ever earthy, honest and still reflective about the fate of their bandmate. There's rare documentary and performance footage, as well. There are a few things missing for me. Time has taken away the vital contributions of Rob Gretton and Martin Hannett, and it would have been nice to have the full TV performances rather than extracts. Having said that, still well worth having.
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