Joy Division
Premiere: Toronto film festival Septermber 7th 2007

Release Dates:
(some of these are links so click em)
Already available on DVD in Norway!!
2nd May UK Cinema release
17th May Japanese cinema release
17th June - Canadian cinema release date
For previews and special screenings check out our messageboard

   

UK DVD

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US DVD

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Australia DVD

Thanks to Korova

   
 
   

Edited by Jerry Chater
Director of photography Grant Gee
Produced by Tom Astor, Tom Atencio & Jacqui Edenbrow
Directed by Grant Gee

Running Time: 93 mins Certificate: 15

   

   
SYNOPSIS

On June 4 1976, four young men from ruined, post-industrial Manchester, England went to see a Sex Pistols show at the Manchester Lesser Free Trade
Hall. Inspried by the gig that is now credited with igniting the Manchester music scene, they formed what was to become one of the world’s most influential bands, Joy Division.

Now, thirty years later, despite a tragedy that was to cut them off in their prime, they are enjoying a larger audience and more influence than ever before, with a profound legacy that resonates fiercely in today’s heavily manufactured pop culture.

Featuring the unprecedented participation of all the surviving band members (now known as New Order), ‘Joy Division’ examines the band’s story as depicted through never-before-seen live performance footage, personal photos, period films and newly discovered audiotapes. With poignant narratives from Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris, as well as accounts from Throbbing Gristle musician Genesis P. Orridge, late legendary Factory Records owner Tony Wilson, iconic Factory Records graphic artist Peter Saville, photographer/filmmaker Anton Corbijn, Belgian journalist Annik Honoré (speaking for the first time about her relationship with Ian Curtis) and others, the film is a fresh visual account of a unique time and place.

From director Grant Gee and producers Tom Atencio, Tom Astor and Jacqui Edenbrow, Joy Division chronicles a time of great social and political change in England and tells the untold story of four men who transcended economic and cultural barriers to produce an enduring musical legacy.
   

   
DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

In 1980, aged 15, I bought a copy of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album. It was the single most beautiful object I’d ever possessed and the first record I’d ever heard that didn’t just spit out sounds but seemed to create a whole new landscape.

A couple of months later, listening in bed to John Peel’s radio show, I heard that the band’s singer Ian Curtis had killed himself and I experienced a brand new/strange sense of adolescent loss.

Apart from filming and filmmaking, the only work I ever enjoyed was studying urban geography: the sense of place.

So when I was contacted by producers Tom Atencio and Tom Astor and writer Jon Savage in 2006 about a Joy Division documentary they’d been developing, it was natural for me to conceive the project in terms of beauty, loss and the city.
   
   
BACKGROUND

Just two records, one the band didn’t like and one released posthumously after the singer had committed suicide. And yet, three decades after the fact, Joy Division remains one of the most powerful and salient stories in all music. Some people may feel a myth has grown up around Joy Division and Ian Curtis, the translucent-eyed poet-hero, dead at just 22. But myth implies an embroidering of truth, an aggrandising of events. What Grant Gee’s film instead reveals is that the transformative quality of the band’s music has of late been under-estimated and that, most tellingly, it was created without reflection or awareness by the musicians themselves.

“The beauty of Joy Division is that we didn’t know what we were doing, didn’t know why we were doing it, and [yet] the chemistry was unbelievable… Maybe Ian might have known, I suppose that’s something we’ll never find out.” So says bass-player Peter Hook, in one of the film’s many candid interviews, highlighting the known-unknown around which all debate on Joy Division must orbit: the seemingly irreconcilable paradox between Ian, the softly spoken young lad in ordinary life, and the mesmeric, haunted, mains-wired figure he cut on stage.

‘Joy Division’ talks to all the surviving main players, including Factory Records’ founder Tony Wilson, shortly before his own death last year, to present a layered and insightful portrait of how four young men from Salford, Greater Manchester went from “normal, daft beer boys”, setting fire to rubbish in their rehearsal room to keep warm, to least-likely incipient global phenomenon, in two short years, only to see it all evaporate one Saturday night in May 1980, on the very eve of their first ever North American tour, with a second, this time successful, suicide attempt.

Early on in the film Wilson says Joy Division were onstage because “they had no fucking choice”. It’s a typically pretentious statement, but it does illustrate the point that the band went far beyond the idea of merely providing entertainment for people. Meanwhile, evidence of Curtis’s channelling of existential literature (Gogol, Kafka, Ballard, Dostoevsky, Burroughs) through his lyrics provides ballast to another Wilson statement that Joy Division were the first band to take the energy of punk’s “Fuck you!” and use it to express the more complex emotions of “I’m fucked!”.

As Curtis’s late developing epilepsy emerges through the retelling, it becomes irresistible not to see it as some kind of external manifestation of his inner turmoil, especially when tied to footage of his increasingly frenzied dancing. It is shocking, but entirely believable, to hear that no one in his inner circle tried to communicate with Curtis about his illness or make any concessions on his behalf (on one occasion, in fact, picking him up from hospital so as to not cancel a show). But then, as drummer Stephen Morris notes, where he came from they rode pigs for entertainment and therefore, presumably, didn’t have such complicated things as feelings.

‘Joy Division’ also incorporates the first filmed interview with Curtis’s Belgian girlfriend Annik Honoré, who provided the third side of an awkward triangle with his wife Deborah, and whose presence lay behind the deathless words of ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart Again’. An aesthete, intellectual and, most tellingly perhaps, a woman in a world of taciturn men, Honoré provides some of the film’s most apposite commentary, pointing out to a sceptical Wilson that when Curtis sang “I take the blame” in his sonorous, wounded baritone, he wasn’t speaking metaphorically, and that there was, and ought to be, due cause for concern.

There is a spine-tingling moment this late on in the story when guitarist Bernard Sumner takes Curtis through a homemade hypnotic regression, which he recorded and kept on a cassette tape all these years. We hear the 22-year old Curtis reveal himself in fact to be a 28-year old studying law in some former life. Although his regressed identity and location remain obscure, this snatch of conversation along with some traded banter with producer Martin Hannett, as well as a local radio interview, provide the few moments of presence of this otherwise absent central character, and chime all the more significantly as a result.

Elsewhere, artwork designer Peter Saville provides background to the iconic ‘pulsar’ sleeve for ‘Unknown Pleasures’ and how he hadn’t actually heard the music when he came up with it, and also talks about having to point out to Wilson that the cover for the recorded-but-not-yet-released ‘Closer’ has a tomb on the front of it, and that this might not play well in the wake of events.

Writer and commentator Paul Morley, photographers Kevin Cummins and Anton Corbijn (who directed the recent Joy Division drama ‘Control’), Mancunian alternative culture stalwart Liz Naylor, various filmmakers, friends, roadies and Genesis P Orrige , all provide their own vignettes and recollections of this most elusive of groups, which director Grant Gee flawlessly stitches together with archive footage of the band and their environment, to provide a portrait of people and a place caught between the memory of the past and the dream of the future.

Manchester appears like a forgotten historical city, as close to World War Two bombsites as to today’s canal-side apartment developments. According to journalist Paul Morley, Joy Division took this bleak, depressed, post-industrial city and provided a “science fiction” interpretation of its landscape, thereby in time transforming the city itself.

Of the record that did this trick, however, Hook reveals that neither him nor Bernard had actually liked ‘Unknown Pleasures’, him because he wanted it “to lop people’s heads off and kick them in the teeth, like Iggy & the Stooges live”, and Bernard because the record was simply “too dark” to bear repeated listens.

Joy Division were a group like no other. ‘Joy Division’ the film, by showing how ordinary they were, reveals how extraordinary they would become. After Curtis’s death, ‘Joy Division’ reveals, the band just went to work at the rehearsal room on Monday morning because it didn’t occur to them not to. In time they would become New Order, but it would be 18 years before they would play a Joy Division song again.

“None of them realised how strong and powerful the music was,” says Honoré. “It is just like a love story. Each individual is nothing on their own, but when they click together it’s enormous. They just had the light and the spirit.”
   
   
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS

GRANT GEE – Director

Grant Gee was born in Plymouth, Devon in the UK. He studied Geography at Oxford University (St. Catherine’s College), followed by graduate studies at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Essentially he is a geography teacher and owns two corduroy jackets, but he is perhaps best known for his work as filmmaker and cameraman on his Grammy-nominated, half-million unit-shifting 1998 feature documentary about the rock group Radiohead, “Meeting People is Easy.”

His short, more or less experimental films – including “Found Sound” (1997), “(Tel Aviv) City Symphony” (2000), “400 Anarchists” (2002) and “Mr. Fred Zentner’s…” (2005) have been shown internationally as part of touring packages by the British Council, Onedotzero and London Film and Video Umbrella.

As director of photography he filmed the award winning “Faster” (2003), a feature documentary about Moto GP motorcycle racing (directed by Mark Neale).

His dance film “Torsion” for Ballet Boys was broadcast in 2006 by Channel 4 as part of their celebration of the work of choreographer Russell Maliphant.

He directed (in partnership with David Barnard) the film of Gorillaz’ Demon Days Live which was Grammy nominated in 2007.

Most recently he was Director of Photography and editor for the feature
documentary “Scott Walker: 30 Century Man” (director Stephen Kijak), which
premiered at the 2006 London Film Festival and received theatrical release this year.

He lives in Brighton in the UK.


TOM ATENCIO - Producer

Tom Atencio’s career in the music industry has spanned over 20 years. During this time he has been involved with many facets of the industry, including, but not limited to, record labels, live performance and artist management.

In the early 1980s, Atencio was the Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing for Backstreet/MCA Records. He oversaw the presentation for such artists as Tom Petty, Nils Lofgrin and Men Without Hats. He also coordinated the release and marketing plan for Universal Films soundtracks including Where the Buffalo Roam (music by Neil Young), The Border (music by Ry Cooder), Cat People (music by Giorgio Moroder and David Bowie), and others.

During the 1990s, Atencio founded Tom Atencio & Associates, a firm specializing in artist management. He represented the influential alternative band Jane’s Addiction during their Ritual de lo Habitual release. In addition, he co-founded the visionary Lollapalooza Festival. He was responsible for guiding No Doubt’s career during their Tragic Kingdom release, which has sold in excess of 15,000,000 copies worldwide. He has represented WEA recording artists New Order (in North America) for the last 18 years. Mr. Atencio is also the North American representative for the Joy Division catalog.

In 2006 Atencio joined the board of directors for TuneCore. The company provides a revolutionary new service that lets artists distribute their music for sale on iTunes, Rhapsody and other digital online retailers while keeping control of their rights, masters and receive 100% of the money from the sale of their music.

2007 sees the world premiere of the Joy Division documentary that Atencio is producing in association with Tom Astor. Their company, Hudson Productions Ltd., is working on developing the feature film Johnny Nemo as well as a number of other media projects.


TOM ASTOR – Producer

From 1987 until 2000, Tom Astor owned and ran Orinoco, a recording studio that produced many hits from Enya’s Orinoco Flow to Oasis’ (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? and all of the Chemical Brothers’ records. In 1988 Astor founded Deadline, a comics magazine and book publishing company. Deadline's most famous character is Tank Girl, which, as Executive Producer, Astor developed into a live-action feature for United Artists. Astor also co-managed the animated pop-group Gorillaz from the initiation of the concept to the release of their first album.

2007 sees the world premiere of the Joy Division documentary that Atencio is producing in association with Tom Astor. Their company, Hudson Productions Ltd., is working on developing the feature film Johnny Nemo as well as a number of other media projects.


JACQUI EDENBROW – Producer

From 1993 until 1999, Jacqui Edenbrow worked in music television in various guises before producing Bjork’s performance at the Royal Opera House in London for the launch of BBC4 in 2000, which led to a commission from Bjork to produce a definitive documentary of her career

In 2004, she took a short sabbatical from production to work in broadcast commissioning as Deputy Editor for Music at Channel 4.

She started Brown Owl Films Ltd in 2006 to produce a documentary film about Depeche Mode's 25 year career as seen through the eyes of their fans with director and Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller and Nick Abrahams.

2007 sees the world premiere of the Joy Division documentary that Edenbrow is producing in association with Atencio and Astor’s Hudson Productions Ltd. Her company Brown Owl Films, is in development on a number of other projects for film and television.
   
   

JOY DIVISION CREDITS

FEATURING
Richard Boon
Anton Corbijn
Kevin Cummins
Bob Dickinson
Lesley Gilbert
Iain Grey
Alan Hempsall
Annik Honoré
Peter Hook
Richard H. Kirk
Terry Mason
Paul Morley
Stephen Morris
Liz Naylor
Genesis P. Orridge
Lindsay Reade
Peter Saville
Richard Searling
Pete Shelley
Bernard Sumner
Malcolm Whitehead
Tony Wilson
Jon Wozencroft

FILMED & DIRECTED BY
Grant Gee

PRODUCED BY
Tom Astor
Tom Atencio
Jacqui Edenbrow

WRITER AND CONSULTANT
Jon Savage

FILM EDITING AND SOUND DESIGN
Jerry Chater

RESEARCHER
Ed Webb-Ingall

CONSULTANT
Peter Saville

TITLES AND DESIGN
Matthew Robertson

ON-LINE EDITOR
Joe Haughey

COLOURIST
Joe Haughey

AUDIO MIXER
Andrew Stirk

ASSISTANT AUDIO MIXER
Tom Berryman

SOUND RECORDIST
Rashad Omar

ADDITIONAL SOUND RECORDING
Mark Atkinson
Olivier Philippart
Ivor Talbot

ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK MATERIAL
Jerry Chater
Rashad Omar

SALES AGENT
Mark Ankner at Endeavor Independent

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Jade Robledo

PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR
Ed Webb-Ingall

ADDITIONAL ARCHIVE RESEARCH
Rhona Clews
Sue Tiplady

TRANSCIPTIONS
Stephanie Scott
Paula Goodchild

SPECIAL THANKS TO
Rebecca Boulton
Andy Robinson

THANKS TO
Jo Abley
Mark Crabtree, Stuart Nevison and AMS Neve
Simon Calkin
Eos Chater
Bobby Cochrane (Northwest Vision)
Deborah Curtis
Nathalie Curtis
Michel Duval
Michel Enkiri
Alan Erasmus
Craig Gell
Gillian Gilbert
Richard Higgins
Jon Horne
Jeremy Kerr
Alan Jackson
Jean-François Jamoul
C.P. Lee
Manchester City Council
Manchester City Galleries
David Nolan
Matthew Norman
Mark Price
Samuel Rooker-Roberts
David Sultan
Supreme
Alison Surtees

ARCHIVE
BBC Motion Gallery
BBC Worldwide
'All That is solid melts into Air: the experience of modernity' by Marshall Berman (Penguin book) © 1988 by Marshall Berman.
Used by permissin of Georges Borchardt, inc. on behalf of the author
'Minutes To Go' © 1960 by William S. Burroughs, used with the permission of The Wylie Agency Inc.
Philippe Carly - www.newwavephotos.com
Cherry Red
Co-operative Wholesale Society
Kevin Cummins/Idols
'Touching From a Distance' by Deborah Curtis, published by Faber and Faber Ltd
Curtis Brown Publishers
'Crime and Punishment' by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, translation © David Magarschack, 1951reproduced by permission of Penguin Books Ltd.
Dover publications
Dick Verdult
English Partnerships
Jill Furmanovsky
Peter Godkin
Martin Hannett in the studio courtesy of Recordcore DVR Ltd t/as Ozit Morpheus Records/Interstate Records
IPC International Syndication
ITN Source
Jodrell Bank Observatory
www.joydiv.com
Text from short story 'The Penal Colony' contained in the Vintage Classics (1999) edition of 'Franz Kafka: The Complete Short Stories.'
Linder and Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London
Manchester Archives and Local Studies Central Library
Manchester District Music Archive
Manchester Evening News
Museum of Science and Industry Manchester
Liz Naylor
Brian Nicholson
NME/IPC Media
North West Film Archive
The Estate of John Peel
Image of pulsar CP 1919 from Jonathan Cape edition of Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy, 1974
Redferns Pictures/BBC/Virginia Turbett/Lex Van Rossen
Retna Pictures/Paul Slattery/Steven Richards
Charles Salem
Salford City Council
University of Salford
'Epilepsy in Our Words: Personal accounts of living with seizures' (Oxford University Press, New York, 2007) edited by Steven C. Schachter, MD. Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
Dick Verdult
The Wellcome Trust
Paul Welsh/Penetration Magazine
Malcolm Whitehead
Bernard Pierre Wolff/Photo Researchers

"Epilepsy a Label For Life" 'Archive footage reproduced by kind permission of sanofi-aventis, Reckitt Benckiser and Epilepsy Action. The views expressed are those of the film maker and not necessarily of sanofi-aventis, Reckitt Benckiser and Epilepsy Action who have no editorial control of the film contents.' 'If you are affected by epilepsy, please contact Epilepsy Action at www.epilepsy.org.uk for advice and information'.

LOCATIONS
Arndale Centre
Band on the Wall
Beetham Tower (Hilton Group)
Britannia Row Studios
Carling Apollo Manchester
City of Manchester Stadium
Empress Ballroom
The Green Quarter
The Hope and Anchor
Icon Apartments
London School of Sound
Macclesfield Borough Council
Manchester Art Gallery
Manchester Cathedral
Manchester City Football Club
The Met
The Musicbox
New Islington Development
Piccadilly Place (Argent Group)
Radisson SAS
Rafters
Somerset Bayswater Apartments
Stoneyhurst Estates
University of London Union
University of Manchester

LOCATIONS MANAGER
Daniel Connolly

INSURANCE
Lisa Marsden at Media Insurance Brokers

LEGAL
Jeremy Gawade and James Armitage at Lee and Thompson

PUBLICITY US
Chris Libby & Gina Lang at BWR Public Relations

PUBLICITY UK
Keeley Naylor at Em Foundation

MUSIC VIDEOS
Joy Division 'Atmosphere'
Directed by Anton Corbijn
Licensed courtesy of London Records 90 ltd

Joy Division 'Love Will Tear us Apart'
Licensed courtesy of London Records 90 ltd

"Decades" Performed by Nau Ensemble
"Licensed courtesy of Warner Music Sweden
Written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
Published by Universal

" Exercise One" performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of London Records 90 Ltd
written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
published by Universal

" No Love Lost" performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of London Records 90 Ltd
written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
published by Universal

" Digital" performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of London Records 90 Ltd
Performed and written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
published by Universal

"Keep on Keeping On" performed by N F porter
Licensed courtesy of GoldSoul
Written by Richard Flowers
Published by Vulture Music

" Interzone" performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of London Records 90 Ltd
written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
published by Universal

" Shadowplay" performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of ITN/Granda
written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
published by Universal

" Insight " performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of London Records 90 Ltd
written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
published by Universal

" New Dawn Fades" performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of London Records 90 Ltd
written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
published by Universal

"Decades" performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of London Records 90 Ltd
written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
published by Universal

" Disorder" performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of London Records 90 Ltd
written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
published by Universal

" She's Lost Control" performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of BBC Motion Gallery
written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
published by Universal

" She's Lost Control" performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of ITN/Granada
written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
published by Universal

" Transmission" performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of BBC Motion Gallery
written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
published by Universal

" Wilderness" performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of PLAN K/Cherryred???
written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
published by Universal

"These Days " performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of London Records 90 Ltd
written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
published by Universal

" Atmosphere" performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of London Records 90 Ltd
written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
published by Universal

"Autosuggestion" performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of London Records 90 Ltd
Performed and written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
published by Universal

"Day Of The Lords " performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of London Records 90 Ltd
written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
published by Universal

"Love Will Tear Us Apart" performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of London Records 90 Ltd
written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
published by Universal

"Atrocity Exhibition" performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of London Records 90 Ltd
written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
published by Universal

"Heart & Soul" performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of London Records 90 Ltd
written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
Published by Universal

"Eternal" performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of London Records 90 Ltd
Written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
published by Universal

"Isolation" performed by Joy Division
Licensed courtesy of London Records 90 Ltd
Written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
Published by Universal

"Blue Monday" performed by New Order
Licensed courtesy of London Records 90 Ltd
Written by (Curtis/Hook/Sumner/Morris)
Published by Warner Chappell

   
   

For old information we published before the film was released click here (details of advanced screenings etc)