lizhand (lizhand) wrote in theinferior4,
lizhand
lizhand
theinferior4

Atmosphere

Last night I watched 24 Party People. I first saw it several years ago, but I was saddened by the recent death of Tony Wilson (24PP is both a very funny and touching account of Wilson's impact upon the Manchester music scene) and wanted to revisit, as it were, a place I've never been. So many of the primary figures from the 70s/80s music scene are dead now — one reason I wrote Generation Loss was the terrible sense of loss I felt, and feel, that the history of that whole small scene was disappearing with each new death. And it was a small scene -- big impact, small missile — as is beautifully (and hilariously) illustrated by the great scene in 24PP where the Sex Pistols play to an audience of 42 Mancusians.

I was also struck, again, by the beautiful brief footage of a Joy Division video (for "Atmosphere") that appears after Ian Curtis's death in the film. So I went down to the cottage today and dug out all my old Joy Division albums (vinyl, 33 LPs and 45 EPs) and played them. I used to buy them at a record store in Georgetown, can't recall now which one -- Orpheus, maybe? (The name would certainly be appropriate.) They were expensive, because they were all imports; but they were also the most beautiful albums I had ever seen. Peter Saville's design, black-and-white or grey, images or photos, though the EP for "She's Lost Control"/"Atmosphere" was a pale, filtered color photo of leafless trees; plain gray boards for the live double album STILL. It remains the most exquisite, perfect pairing of art to sound that I can think of, that spare design and the music inside. I still can't listen to "Atmosphere" without feeling near tears — it's like a flip side to Nick Drake's "Northern Sky." A little while ago I went online to find the "Atmosphere" video in its entirety:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0We9d5J3BLQ

And when I researched the director, Anton Corbijn, I learned that he's director of the Ian Curtis biopic CONTROL which will be out late this year. I've read some great advance reviews of CONTROL but somehow never sussed that Corbijn was the same guy who did the video (which dates from the late 80s).

Anyway, a lovely, haunting piece of work that bodes well for the film.

— posted by Liz Hand
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