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NewsMusic NewsPeter Hook says Joy Division biopic ‘Control’ was “too accurate”

The 2007 film was directed by Anton Corbijn

By Rhian Daly

Peter Hook
Peter Hook CREDIT: Carla Speight/Getty Images

Peter Hook has discussed the Joy Division biopic Control in an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit, calling it “TOO accurate”.

The film was directed by Anton Corbijn, who worked closely with the band as a photographer, and was released in 2007.

  • READ MORE: Joy Division’s ‘Unknown Pleasures’: How they made the unimpeachable proto-goth masterpiece

A fan on the Joy Division subreddit asked Hook what he thought about the movie and whether he thought it gave an accurate portrayal of his former band. “To be honest it was TOO accurate!” the bassist replied.

“I recognised my ex-bandmates very well in the film. Anton knew us very well and schooled the actors religiously to capture all of our little quirks. It was a great film.”

Ian Curtis, Joy Division
Joy Division’s Ian Curtis CREDIT: Rob Verhorst/Redferns

In 2007, Hook said that he really enjoyed the film, but likened it to “having your heart stamped on”. “The weirdest thing was at the end, when it really hurt and everybody started clapping,” he said. “It would’ve been nice to have a dignified silence. You’re sat there thinking “Fuck me I lived that! It was like being dissected.”

Control was based on the biography Touching From A Distance, which was written by late frontman Ian Curtis’ widow Deborah. It focused on Curtis’ life from 1973 until his death in 1980, including his marriage and the formation of Joy Division.

Elsewhere in the AMA, Hook reflected on his favourite memory of Curtis, recalling driving the singer home from the band’s rehearsal the night before he died. “We were so excited and happy – literally bouncing around in the car about going to America in a few days,” Hook wrote. “I’ll never forget that.”

In October 2021, the musician reflected on his time with New Order, the band that followed Joy Division. In a mini-documentary created ahead of an auction of some of Hook’s old memorabilia, he called the last gig he played with the band the “most miserable night of my life”.

“It’s one of those things that isn’t quantifiable about rock’n’roll is how people on the outside can look, ‘Wow, he’s on stage in front of 160,000 people all going mad for his music’, and yet you’re as miserable as sin,” he said.

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