Film / Control

Control is a 2007 Biopic about Ian Curtis and Joy Division, directed by Anton Corbijn as his director's debut. It's possibly the only straight-up biopic about Ian's life that isn't a documentary.


  • Breakup Song: "Love Will Tear Us Apart" is played after Curtis and his wife start to fall apart following his distance from her.
  • Convulsive Seizures: Curtis was an epileptic, so this side of his life is also shown.
  • Country Matters: The band gets Tony Wilson's attention with a note which simply states: "Joy Division, you cunt."
  • Cult Soundtrack: Interestingly enough the soundtrack album has covers of the originals more than anything else.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The entire film is shot in black-and-white. Justified as the vast majority of existing photos regarding the band are in black-and-white.
  • Despair Event Horizon: After Deborah doesn't return his feelings of staying with him, Ian sends her out which leads to a seizure. He recovers only to finally hit this point and commit suicide.
  • Doomed Protagonist: Everyone knows from the start that Ian Curtis eventually committed suicide.
  • Downer Ending: Ian commits suicide, Deborah ends up distraught (It doesn't help she was raising their daughter) and the band breaks up.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Everyone knows the story will end with Ian committing suicide.
  • From Bad to Worse: The final Joy Division gig, with Ian frequently ducking off stage in order to combat a worsening seizure, forcing Alan Hempstall of Crispy Ambulance to step in for him. The gig ends in a riot.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: In-universe. Tony tries to comfort Ian with this after the riot under From Bad to Worse, by saying the band's publicity will help them when they tour the US.
  • Oop North: The film takes place there. In fact the corresponding TV Tropes article used a shot of this movie to illustrate this.
  • Retirony: Played with. Ian commits suicide on the eve of the band's first US tour.
  • Your Cheating Heart: The implication of what starts Deborah's relationship with Ian to deteriorate. Ironically, in Real life, both Ian and his 'lover' Annik Honoré were considered just close friends, Annik constantly stating her relationship with Ian was platonic.