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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last word
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...
Published on 13 Aug. 2008 by Jeffrey M. Black

versus
29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing
I'm a massive JD fan but was very let down by this.

The good:

Goes into a lot of detail about Ian and the band's time together, some really funny and moving moments. Also some great visual effects (!) and very intelligent/fascinating commentary.

The bad:

It basically has nothing of JD's music except in the background and...
Published on 16 Feb. 2009 by Mr. A. C. Pyke


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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last word, 13 Aug. 2008
By 
Jeffrey M. Black "jblack437" (Stockport) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Joy Division [DVD] (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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shocking, 10 Jun. 2011
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This review is from: Joy Division [DVD] (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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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last word on Joy Division?, 26 Aug. 2008
By 
Colin McCartney (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Joy Division [DVD] (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the shadowplay acting out your own death knowing no more., 1 Mar. 2015
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Joy Division [DVD] (DVD)
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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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Necessary Addition To The Joy Division History, 13 Aug. 2008
By 
S. P. Sanders "Simon Sanders" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Joy Division [DVD] (DVD)
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth watching, 22 Mar. 2009
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This review is from: Joy Division [DVD] (DVD)
Joy Division are my band. Closer is and always will be my favourite album of all-time. They have always got into my heart. I have seen everything, got everything. I know this story.

Yet, there was enough in this documentary to keep me hooked. There were things I didn't know and hearing some of the people talking about it for the first time was genuinely eye-opening.

So well worth a watch. I have to say, I enjoyed this more than Control because this, for the first time, talks about the depth of Curtis' lyrics and what he must have been feeling.

Best bits for me was Hooky saying he didn't like Unknown Pleasures (I rarely listen to that either!) and also saying they would have been bigger than U2 which is what I have always thought as well (although I may have got that from an earlier Hooky interview)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 19 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Joy Division [DVD] (DVD)
I rather think the reviewers who have given 2 or 3 stars to this awesome documentary have got hold of the wrong end of the stick. It seems that what they wanted was a "greatest hits" collection of JD videos and live footage, something which this film does not purport to be. What we have here is the Joy Division story, from inception to untimely demise, told by those who were actually there and took part in it. This is the story of one of the most important and influential bands in the history of British popular music, and as such it should be considered - not as a "Best Of" compilation.
Mr A.C. Pyke says that he can't understand how anyone can like this. I would reply that it's diificult to see how a true Joy Division fan wouldn't.
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 16 Feb. 2009
By 
Mr. A. C. Pyke "Alex" (U.K) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Joy Division [DVD] (DVD)
I'm a massive JD fan but was very let down by this.

The good:

Goes into a lot of detail about Ian and the band's time together, some really funny and moving moments. Also some great visual effects (!) and very intelligent/fascinating commentary.

The bad:

It basically has nothing of JD's music except in the background and seriously small snippets here and there, with a lot of talking over them.

This really impoverishes the experience,for me Joy Division is all about tension and ambience but the film doesn't let you `get into' a single song even once. The furtherest you're allowed to go is like `verse 1, chorus 1' and BANG it's back to an interview.

It's frustrating, because I don't see how anyone could enjoy this. JD virgins are likely to be thinking `Well let me hear some of this band for real (or at least more than 30 seconds)' and JD fans will just be frustrated they STILL don't have DVD-quality, full - versions of JD's meagre but very special performances.

This film tried to do far too much....I would have been happy with leaving some of the live performances in the extras if the thing had been allowed to flow and breathe properly.....instead it rather cheapens JD's music because it's all `in the background' sometimes, the audio of the interview's is even louder than the (very short) performances!

Joy Division is serious, thought=provoking, cathartic, tense, immense, beautiful music ..... Why does this doc reduce it all to MTV-friendly 30 second attention blasts of industrial noise?

Even the NewOrderstory is flawed but it gives us full performances at least.

And yes I appreicate Joy division are a band of such stature that you can generate a lot of very interesting academic, artistic and imaginative ideas and it's good to have these discussed somewhere.

But do the music first!

And don't start me on the ultra-rare snippet of `she's lost control' .... hanging that in front of JD fans is just evil! argH!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very watchable, 24 May 2009
By 
JimmyDCFC (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Joy Division [DVD] (DVD)
Good points:
Peter Saville - very amusing bloke.
Annik - touching and honest.
Steve Morris - also funny.
You get a real feel of how crap mid seventies Britain was.

to be honest the rest of it is pretty good too.

Bad point:
More pretentious twaddle from Paul Morley.
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5.0 out of 5 stars genuine article, 3 April 2013
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This review is from: Joy Division [DVD] (DVD)
Brilliant.
Could not be any better.
I was fortunate enough to see Joy Divison three times in 1979 and 1980 and this is the genuine article in my opinion.
Highly recommended for serious JD fans.
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Joy Division [DVD]
Joy Division [DVD] by Grant Gee (DVD - 2008)
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