21 Oct 2007
In Conversation 
Peter Hook treated another Manchester audience to an entertaining, candid conversation and question/answer session on Friday night (19th October 2007) - this time In Conversation with Matt Greenhalgh, script/screenplay-writer of the recent Ian Curtis biopic Control, and Manchester-based journalist/author John Robb.

The event, held at the Cornerhouse gallery/cinema complex as part of its Control season, was attended by Matt's former boss at Manchester's (now defunct) listings magazine 'City Life', Andy Spinoza, and Central Station Design-ers Pat and Karen.

As OMIM was, once again, caught short without any method of recording the evening's extensive dialogue, herewith the main recollections:

On the film itself:
Matt's original script ran to a lengthy 210 pages - with a great deal more character development - but this was always going to be longer that the two hours requested.
Scenes were shot that didn't make it to the final cut.
Matt's treatment was deemed very 'northern' by Hooky, with Anton making a more 'international' film. Both Matt and Hooky would have preferred to see the original screenplay.
Matt wrote the original script without a Director being on board - which is unusual in film production.
Jonathan 'Sexy Beast' Glazer was originally approached to be director, but had other committments.
There were originally two production companies simultaneously attempting to shoot the same film, with two independent scripts being produced (a fact which Matt was completely unaware of).
Matt's real breakthrough with the script came when Annik Honore sent him copies of thirteen letters written by Ian - some of which pre-dated his suicide by a few days. Most of this was cut from the film.
Other scenes that didn't make it into the final version of the film dealt with Deborah Curtis's involvement with mental patients; Ian's fascination with disability and the whole Joy Division nazi thing.
"Tell me about Macclesfield" was a deliberate attempt at northern humour which has largely been misunderstood.

On Ian Curtis and Joy Division:
Ian wrote everything in CAPITAL LETTERS.
Joy Division songs were usually arranged by Ian Curtis during rehearsal jam sessions - which New Order found difficult to reconcile post-JD.
The members of Joy Division hardly ever spoke about the band and their music amongst themselves - the interviews contained in Tom Atencio's forthcoming Joy Division documentary are the first time any of the band have actually heard each other's views.
Like everybody else, it would seem, Hooky was not impressed with the scene in the film that dealt with the recording of 'Isolation'.
The use of actors actually playing the band's music in the film set a new standard in rockumentary film making that will be difficult to surpass.
Ian Curtis was not a very good footballer (but should have made an excellent goalie!).

On other matters Factory:
According to Hooky, Manchester is now known by taxi drivers all over the world for three things (in this order): David Beckham; Manchester United; Twenty-Four Hour Party People.
Factory Records was originally Tony Wilson, Alan Erasmus and the person who first proposed the idea: John Brierley.


Please submit comments and corrections to the message board, and keep an eye out for the whole evening being posted to a certain video website.

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A Certain Ratio

"Manchester, 1978. In the beginning there were four: Jez Kerr (bass), Martin Moscrop (guitar/trumpet), Peter Terrel (guitar/effects) and Simon Topping (vocals/trumpet). Four thin boys with a name borrowed from a Brian Eno record, the intense, drummerless quartet initially drew influence from Wire, Eno, the Velvets and Kraftwerk, and gained a manager in Anthony Wilson of Factory Records.

"May 1979 saw the release of their first ACR single, the dark All Night Party, although the sound and musicianship of the band would be transformed by the arrival of funky drummer Donald Johnson (DoJo) in August. Over the next few months the band gigged widely, often with Joy Division as part of Factory packages, and recorded demos with producer Martin Hannett as well as a Peel session. Their support slot with Talking Heads on their UK tour in December 1979 set David Byrne on a new course, and provided the compelling live half of their chic cassette package The Graveyard and the Ballroom. Post-punk, ACR now reflected the influence of Funkadelic, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, The Bar Kays and James Brown."

- intro to ACR Biography by James Nice (LTM)

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