>Control + Away from Her

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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.

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10 Comments to “>Control + Away from Her”

  1. >Romeika, adorei sua descrição sobre "Control", porque você mostra o quanto a vida do Ian Curtis foi curta, mas intensa. Quero muito ver o filme.Adoro a Sarah Polley e, pelo que vejo através do seu texto, ela aprendeu bastante com a Isabel Coixet (com quem ela trabalhou em "Minha Vida Sem Mim" e "A Vida Secreta das Palavras"), uma diretora sensível e que pega esses momentos simples da vida e transforma em histórias comoventes, sem nunca cair no melodrama. Outro filme que eu estou doida para assistir.Me responda só uma coisa: o Oscar deve ir para Julie Christie ou Marion Cotillard? 🙂

  2. >Não conhecia esse control…Quero muito ver a Away from Her, gosto da Julie.Romeika, acabei de ler o artigo que me indicou sobre Mullholand Drive, gostei muito, e lendo veio outra interpretação em minha cabeça, e é isso que é genial no filme, vi ele há 1 ano, e ainda o tenho tão intensamente que posso interpreta-lo ainda. OLha a genialidade do Lynch.Ah, e gostei da discussão que vcs travaram no comments. Alto nivel.

  3. >Away from Her sounds amazing. I love love stories. I'll remember to take tissues with me. But I've forgotten where I've parked my car, etc etc.

  4. >Guys, I'll be answering the comments tomorrow.. I was sleepy and reading Sylvia Plath in bed, and then my husband enters in the room and says: "Heath Ledger is dead". I just can't comprehend it's true. It's just crazy and surreal. I'm in shock.

  5. >I just read my comment for your earlier post and noticed I wrote I didn't write in english. rsrsrsrs. Ok, now I'm back. I love Joy Division e I want to know Ian Curtis's life better with Control. I really, really want to see it. But I also want to watch Away from Her, more because of the hype over Christies performance.Ciao!ps: I already posted my INLAND EMPIRE review. 😉

  6. >Estou muito ansioso para ver esses dois filmes, especialmente o "Control", que tem jeito de filme que adoro. Além da trama interessante (relacionada à música, o que sempre é bom), parece ter ótimas atuações. Em relação ao outro, só estou um tanto curioso para ver a tão comentada atuação da Julie Christie.Abraço!

  7. >Kamila, a Sarah Polley realmente aprendeu com os melhores..:-) E respondendo a sua pergunta, acho que o Oscar deveria ir pra Cotillard, nao vi atuacao que superasse a dela, nem mesmo a da Christie (que estah muito bem, contida), mas Cotillard, eu nao tenho nem mais adjetivos pra descreve-la.Oi Cassiano, os filmes do Lynch realmente sao plurais, isso eh otimo. Eu e a autora do texto discordamos completamente quanto ao valor do cinema contemporaneo, a opiniao dela era tao dura…Seraphine, I forget about similar things all the time. Let's hope it's nothing serious hehehe.. Anyway, bring tissues, I'm sure many have cryed watching this film.Wally, no problem. I've already read and commented on your "IE" post, as you might have noticed.Vinicius, "Away from Her" vale tanto pela atuacao da Christie, e do Gordon Pinsent e Olympia Dukakis tb.. (eh esse o nome deles? rsrsrs..) como tb pela direcao da Polley e das metaforas sutis da historia.

  8. >I love Control, as a Fan of Joy Division I was hoping something more corny but the film amaze me for the intensity of the plot and also for the actors, the photography of the film is also spectacular A film that left me very pleased in all the senses.I didn't want to see Away From Her, but I would give it a chance after your review. Thenks and cheers

  9. >I found Control's visual style truly amazing, but it's not that surprising after all it's "pure Anton Corbijn"! The only thing that I don't like in the movie is that it gives the impression that Ian Curtis committed suicide because he couldn't choose between two women, or because he felt guilty, and I think (or at least I hope so) that he was much more complex than that. Obviously, Corbijn used Debbie's book as the main source for his plot and it wasn't the best of the choices (I tried to read her book; but I just couldn't finish it, her style got on my nerves). But no doubt, the last images of the film will stay in my memory for a long time, I found them extremely powerful!As far as Away from Her is concerned, I agree that the film got the right treatment in Sarah Polley's hands (even if some scenes are a bit repetitive for me); I respect her choices as an actrice a lot, too. For example, she was stunning in My Life Without Me and The Secret Life of Words. Apparently, her collaboration with Isabel Coixet works a lot!Cheers!

  10. >A.R, I felt the same about "Control" regarding its cinemtography and cast. Cheers!Grinda, I didn't know any of Corbijn's work as a photographer, but I can only image how great it was.. Regarding the film's plot, you're right, though besides that, I'd also add the fact he wasn't happy with all the fame and the pressure it came together with it. I think if the screenplay was based not only in Debbie's book but some other sources as well, it could have turned out completely different. Ah, and I just love to see another woman directing, and doing it good. Go, Sarah Polley! hehe Hugs ^^

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