13 Nov 2007
The making of Joy Division 
Paul Morley facilitated a masterclass devoted to the making of the Grant Gee film Joy Division on the last day of the Sheffield DocFest, Sunday 11 Nov, in the Hallam University Pennine Theatre.

Featuring director Grant Gee, producers Tom Astor and Jacqui Edenbrow, and editor Jerry Chater (no Atencio, no Hook, no Savage) the masterclass took the form of informal chat, Q&A session and the showing of three clips from the film itself.

Although there were a great many insights into the thought processes that drove the creation of the documentary (some of which will be contained in a later cerysmatic review of the film), only the cheap and cheerful potential headline-grabbers are presented here:

The film was privately financed by Toms Atencio and Astor, with a budget of just GBP 300k. Many backers were sought, including the BBC, none supplied.

Nearly all the interviews contained therein were conducted by John Savage, thus enabling director Grant Gee to "keep away from the firing line".

Bernard and Hooky's interviews were shot in the same place, on the same day, with a suitable space in between!

Peter Saville used Ian Curtis as the embodiment of 'Manchester: Original, Modern' in his pitch to Manchester City Council.

AHW was more interested in a film about the rebirth of Manchester than a documentary about 'that bloody band'.

Paul Morley doesn't want to give away the ending, "but the singer dies".

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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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