18 Jul 2008
Ikonand and Ikon icon 
The current issue of excellent London art and music magazine Art&Music carries an article by Ikonand co-conspiritor Jamie Holman talking to and about Malcolm Whitehead and Jon Savage and their contributions to the recent Joy Division documentary, illustrated with a series of previously unpublished stills.

In 'From the End to the Beginning: The Joy Division Films', Holman focuses on 'Joy Division: A Film by Malcolm Whitehead'. Shot on Hannimex/Agfa 8mm film and interspersing Bowdon Vale Youth Club gig and JD rehearsal room footage with Malcolm's prescient political warnings of the British fascism to come, it became an integral part of the Joy Div doc. A "film within a film":

"A film in which Joy Division appear as themselves, or as us, or as we wanted to be, while outside Manchester looms, cold and decrepit, unrecognisable to the tourists on the Factory Records bus tour" (Jamie Holman).

"Well, a bloke rang me up from Berlin and, honestly, I was so innocent then I sent him the actual film. They played it and played it, god knows how many showings they did. Luckily i'd swamped it in film preserver and scratch resister" (Malcolm Whitehead).

"It captures the mood of impending doom, or, as Malcolm says in the documentary 'bad moon rising': Thatcher, Anderton etc." (Jon Savage).

Art&Music Issue 2 >> Summer 2008 is now available, free of charge, at selected London venues.

"...legal issues dictate that you will never see the film as it was originally intended".

Many thanks to Gemma at Art&Music, and Brian for the heads up.

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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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