14 Aug 2007
Joy Division documentary finishes production 
'Joy Division' has reached the end of production. The feature length documentary, a US/UK co production, produced by Hudson Productions Ltd partners Tom Astor and Tom Atencio in association with Brown Owl Films' Jacqui Edenbrow, is directed by Grammy nominated Grant Gee (Radiohead's Meeting People Is Easy, Director of Photography & Editor Scott Walker: 30 Century Man) and co-written by acclaimed journalist/writer Jon Savage (England's Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond).

In 1976 four young men from ruined, post-industrial Manchester went to see the Sex Pistols. They formed a band, Joy Division. Three years later the lead singer, Ian Curtis committed suicide just as they were on the brink of worldwide success. Together Gee and Savage investigate why Joy Division's collective musical genius and singular vision enjoys a larger audience and influence thirty years on.

Featuring the unprecedented participation of the surviving band members of Joy Division, now known as New Order, the film chronicles a time of great social and political change in England of the mid-70's and tells the untold story of these four men who transcended economic and cultural barriers to produce an enduring and profound legacy, one that resonates fiercely in today's heavily careerist music industry and over mediated pop culture.

The band's remarkable story is depicted through atmospheric never-before-seen live performance footage, photographs both iconic and personal, period films and newly unearthed audio tapes; taking us through the band’s early years as individuals finding their voices and then later as a band, building their ideas and ideals. The documentary situates the band not just in the musical context of punk and post-punk but in the culturally starved, claustrophobic landscape of post-industrial Manchester that surrounded them and suffuses every note of their music.

This unparalleled visual account of a time and place is coupled with heartfelt and animated, present tense accounts from the surviving members of the band Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris, plus other key characters in the story, including friend and similarly isolated musician Genesis P. Orridge, the late legendary Factory Records owner Tony Wilson, iconic graphic artist Peter Saville, photographer/filmmaker Anton Corbijn, Annik Honoré and others.

'Joy Division' is a Hudson Productions Ltd Production in association with Brown Owl Films.

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Peter Saville colour wheel
Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

- extract from the LTM Biting Tongues biography

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