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Joy Division - Under Review
Joy Division - Under Review
Actor: Joy Division
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
NR     2006     1hr 10min

This 70-minute documentary covers the entire career of Joy Division, one of Manchester and Post-Punks most respected bands. It charts the entire short lifespan of the group, from their origins in their days as Warsaw to t...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Joy Division
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll, Documentary
Studio: Sexy Intellectual
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 10/31/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 10min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Priscilla Ann Medina | 12/07/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)

"The "rare musical performances" amounted to a few seconds Joy Division performing. The whole dvd kept giving the viewer teaser shots if you will of live performances but never delivered. It never played a song in it's entirety. The "rare interviews" as described were garbled and very hard to understand. Very disappointing."
Rename It "Getting to Know Joy Division"
Joseph W. Davis | Boston, MA USA | 12/27/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This DVD was not as bad as I thought it might be based on the previous two reviews. This is a great starting point for post-punk fans that may not have had much exposure to Joy Division. Sure they don't interview any band members, nor do they show the live performances in their entirety, but they do chronicle the brief life of the band at a high enough level not to lose the viewer in the mundane details. Sections of JD history skipped include any mention of the first unreleased RCA album, the Still double LP and the `We Are the Young Men' Ikon video. One thing they did quite well was the objective comparisons to other artists and bands. Comparing "Atmosphere" to the Ron Spector sound of "Be My Baby" and Steven Morris' drumming to that of Can's drummer were startling. I've always read about these comparisons before but have never played side-by-side comparisons. There is also a brief mention at a Brian Eno album that points squarely at Joy Division sound-alike. Here too the brief sound-bite comparison is eerie. This will provide more for me to investigate, as I do not currently have anything by Eno in my collection. Also worth mentioning is the full translation of the infamous Ian Curtis pub interview. Between the heavy Mancunian accent and the background noise, I've never been able to fully decipher Ian. Here the caption text is provided for you in snippets throughout the DVD and in full as a DVD extra. There's also a semi-lame Joy Division trivia quiz in the extras section. In all, I'd recommend this as a gift or purchase for someone who wants to get to know Joy Division, but it is probably too light on information or anything new to those fans who grew up with the band."
Doug Anderson | Miami Beach, Florida United States | 03/27/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Joy Division, in their too brief career, made some very interesting music. Unknown Pleasures & Closer are great records, as is Still. Plus the story of the band and its troubled lead singer is a tragic one. But this kind of "critical review" isn't going to bring you any closer to this band. Though this assortment of oddfellows-- authors, music critics, and scenesters-- like to go on, they actually have very little to offer because these are not the kind of guys Joy Division hung out with. Most of what is gong on here is a bunch of journalists just repeating second hand news.

A good documentary w/ actual band members would be interesting, but this Under Review (a notoriously rotten series) like all of the other Under Reviews does not actually talk to surviving band members. So, Under Review is not really anything but a chance for critics to hear themselves talk. A half dozen journalists speak but really three of them do most of the talking. A lot of potentially interesting topics are touched upon: punk, postpunk, the Manchester scene as opposed to the London scene, Factory Records, Tony Wilson, producer Martin Hannett, the bands public image v. private reality, Curtis' infidelity, the evolution of the Joy Division sound, the importance of various singles, Joy Division as a European band (influenced by Lou Reed/David Bowie/Iggy Pop's Berlin phases) that probably wouldn't have succeeded in the US etc... but, unfortunately, these sources are not particularly eloquent nor particularly reliable. Oddly enough Curtis' epilepsy is never mentioned, nor what part his medications may have played in his suicide.

Another huge negative: If you put it all together there's probably less than one minute worth of actual footage of the band culled from their rarely seen tv appearances and interviews. Problem is that they only show maybe three to six seconds of footage from each appearance. But plenty of time is spent with the journalists (and these are the chaps that you really get to know here, not the band).

If you have read an article or two about the band and/or you've seen 24 Hour Party People and/or Control you've already been presented with this material and in much more entertaining fashion."
A nice starting point
toddsend | Evansville, IN | 02/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Any release self-deemed an
'independent critical analysis' is more often than not, another name
for 'unauthorized cash-in attempt'. However, this 70-minute bio
offers some historical documentation as well as some well-reasoned
reflections and opinions on this legendary Manchester post-punk act.
Led by the visionary (and troubled) vocalist Ian Curtis, Joy Division
spearheaded a head-on collision between punk, pre-industrial
electronics, and experimental rock. From 1977 to their sudden
implosion in 1980 due to Curtis' untimely suicide, the group released
2 forward-thinking studio LPs as well as numerous singles that
explored everything from love to loss to isolation to loneliness to
jubilation. Some writers who were around to experience the group's
heyday comment here, as well as associates and esteemed music
journalists who respectfully reflect on the group's short but
influential career. A nice career summation, and worth a viewing for
die-hard fans."