There is no doubt that the look, sound and style of a film are shaped by both the intended meaning and budget constraints, evident in Anton Corbijn's Control, a biographical film about the life of Ian Curtis, lead-vocalist of the late 1970s, pop-punk band, Joy Division. The film focuses on Curtis' internal and external conflicts, regarding the marriage with his wife Deborah Curtis, his diagnosis of epilepsy, affair with Annik Honoré, and problems with fame in his band Joy Division. Corbijn represents Curtis as an ambiguous, introvert who is troubled by a conservative world. Curtis attempts to take on a domestic life, but fails when the pressure of maintaining a life at home, and on tour with his band becomes to much. The intended meaning is based on the use of an artist's public suffering as entertainment, the role of the artist suffering for their art.
The film is set in 1973, Macclesfield, England. The colour palette is black and white, which creates a bleak style that reflects the conservatism of Macclesfield in that era. In the very first scene we are shown a shot of Curtis sitting in his room with his head facing his lap, he narrates, “Existence... Well what does it matter? I exist on the best terms I can. The past is now a part of my future. And the present is far out of hand.” This quote is important as it demonstrates Curtis' introspective attitude towards life in a conservative world. After the title, the scene following shows a long shot of Curtis walking home. Upon his arrival, we are shown a shot of a man with a newspaper. This use of symbolic code represents a conservative father in a domestic environment. As Curtis walks towards his room he passes his studying sister and his mother working in the kitchen. In this scene there is no interaction between Curtis and his family, this suggest he has a distant relationship with his family, and domestic culture.
The film was shot in colour, and then changed in production to black and white. The use...
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