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The Essentials: Control (2007)

A profile of Ian Curtis, the enigmatic singer of Joy Division whose personal, professional, and romantic troubles led him to commit suicide at the age of 23.
(R, 122 min.)


Saturday, March 27, 2021

9:00 PM

Sunday, March 28, 2021

6:00 PM

The Essentials: Music Biopics
Free for Members

Ian Curtis has aspirations beyond the trappings of small-town life in 1970s England. Wanting to emulate his musical heroes, such as David Bowie and Iggy Pop, he joins a band, and his musical ambition begins to thrive. Soon, though, the everyday fears and emotions that fuel his music slowly begin to eat away at him. Married young, with a daughter, he is distracted from his family commitments by a new love and the growing expectations of his band, Joy Division. The strain manifests itself in his health. With epilepsy adding to his guilt and depression, desperation takes hold. Surrendering to the weight on his shoulders, Ian's tortured soul consumes him. [Metacritic]

Starring: Sam Riley, Samantha Morton, Craig Parkinson
Director: Anton Corbijn
Genre(s): Biography, Drama, Music

Tickets are $9/Adults, $8/Students & Seniors, and Free for Members

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"Control is a tremendous memorial."

— Anthony Quinn, Independent (UK)

"Gripping and desperately moving."

— Anna Smith,

"Lovely and deeply touching picture."

— Stephanie Zacharek, Salon

"One of the most perceptive of rock music biopics."

— Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"You don’t have to know anything about Joy Division to grasp the mysterious sorrow at its heart."

— A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"Control goes past the clichés of punk rock-god gloom to offer a snapshot of alienation that's shockingly humane."

— Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

"Control is easily one of the finest films ever made about the collision of music, madness, and the human heart."

— Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle

"The extraordinary achievement of Control is that it works simultaneously as a musical biopic and the story of a life."

— Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"Riley delivers a tremendous performance, not so much a mimic as a wholesale recreation of another human being."

— Brian Tallerico, The Deadbolt

"Tender and heartfelt, Control is a technically accomplished and emotionally poignant portrayal of a modern icon made human again."

— Little White Lies

"Even if you have no interest in Joy Division, this picture is worth seeing for the unsentimental empathy and passion of the moviemaking."

— Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun

"A work of art disguised as a rock-star biography, it's an evocative portrait of an iconic outsider and the place that he tried to transcend."

— Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"It's Corbijn, shooting with a poet's eye in a harshly stunning black-and-white, who cuts to the soul of Ian's life and music. You don't watch this movie, you live it."

— Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

"Instead of painting a tiny, cramped picture intended only for the elite, it opens up one small corner of the world for everybody. Control is proof of the way the music of someone else's life can suddenly and magically become your own."

— Stephanie Zacharek,