Archive for January 22nd, 2008

January 22, 2008

>Control + Away from Her


Control (2007) – The clotheshorse on the kitchen ceiling, the medications in the bathroom, the cigarettes and the booze… Each one of these objects are used to build up Sam Riley‘s Ian Curtis personality in Anton Corbijn’s visual debut as a director. A young boy in a not very rich side of England, Curtis falls in love with the girl next door Debbie (Samantha Morton, in a stunning performance) under the effects of unknown medication and it’s all so innocent. Later on they go to a Sex Pistols concert together, holding eachother still whereas the rest of the audience moves frenetically, and so Curtis mesmerized eyes decides what he wanna do next: to be a singer in a band. The young couple prematurely gets married, and even more abruptly, Ian decides he’s just ready to become a father. These are actions that summed up to all the next happenings in his life will drag him into severe depression.

After joining the band, Ian keeps working in a part time job, that requires no musical poetry or original robotic dance moves, after all he needs to support a wife and child. But he’s not quite happy, and more his band achieves success, the furthest he will keep from his roots and from the family he has made, especially after meeting a belgian journalist wannabe whom he starts an affair with. Ian’s actions and thoughts are hard to digest and to comprehend, and the way he’s portrayed as a very unperfect human being just like one of us was a pretty correct decision. Here there’s not that easy sympathy other biopics possess, no one is trying to make the audience admire or respect this character. Ian goes on, mistake after mistake, doubts and epileptic attacks that drugs won’t help to cease. He’s fragmented between the life he’s always known and the pressure of being a rock star, with all the bad that might bring along the way. We follow Ian’s journey through exquisite monochromatic frames and a penetrating soundtrack.

Away from Her (2007) – This is a movie about the sacrifices one does in order to assure the welfare of the loved being. Fiona (Julie Christie, simple, but intense) and Grant (Gordon Pinsent) are married for 40 years and have lived during great part of their lives in their Ontario home, the place which they first appear in the movie while doing the dishes right after having dinner together. Moments like that may look simple, but director Sarah Polley knows about things, and how sensitive she is to capture each of these moments and make us care for the two characters like if we’ve known them for years. Fiona is showing signs of memory loss, but none of them expect it to be as serious as the Alzheimer’s disease, until the day she goes for her daily snow walk and forgets the way back home. Aware of the fact she has reached “that stage”, Fiona decides to go to a facility, despite the fact she and Grant won’t be able to see each other during the first 30 days of her stay. Their goodbye scene is heartbreaking without being manipulative. Adapted from an Alice Munro’s short story, Away from Her crystallizes Polley’s talent as a cinematic storyteller, one that captured the third age spirit brilliantly and sincerely. Besides, she accomplished a neat film from a story that could easily become a tearful melodrama in the wrong hands.