Around the time the Monaco CD came out, I got the opportunity to interview the extremely charming ex-Joy Division bassist, Peter Hook. Like I'm certain every other interviewer before me, I asked how he felt about Ian Curtis' suicide on the eve of the band's first American tour. I can't recall his exact words, but he was obviously still angry and got a little emotional about it before lapsing back into wise-assery. I can't even remember what rag I interviewed him for, but that's not the point anyway.
What I'm getting at is that it was like the eighties all over again last night at the Film Forum. Some pals and I went to go see Control, the new movie about Ian Curtis and Joy Division. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Though the movie was based on his betrayed wife's book, I honestly didn't expect to come out of it thinking Ian Curtis was, well, kind of a jerk. Not a complete scumbag, mind you, but a jackass in that way that certain musician types get once they get a little taste of fame. I am certain I heard a hissed "asshole" once or twice from the crowd. Though I found myself getting pissy at him, it was refreshing to actually see a fully-realized, multi-dimensional character on screen. Many shades of gray, all rendered exquisitely.
Another thing I didn't expect was to be seated next to a complete mental case disguised as a well-dressed sixty-something man. I guess since it's been a few years since I've dated, I kind of fooled myself into thinking that my freak magnet had been deactivated. Not so.
The first clue was the gentleman's popcorn-eating technique. Instead of grabbing a handful and popping a few kernels into his mouth, my armrest buddy stuck his entire face into the bag, gobbling away, like it was some sort of trough. At one point most of his head was inside the bag. Apparently this method of eating also leaves you a tad gassy because once he'd finished—thank christ it wasn't buttered—he proceeded to burp and grunt for a while.
That is, in between laughing uproariously every time something maudlin happened onscreen. As this is at base a movie about an epileptic who cheated on his wife and ultimately offs himself, there were quite a few sad bits. Each one punctuated by his loud guffawing.
I got back at him, though. My cold is still lingering so I had a little cough. I did my best to keep it to a minimum, but every time I'd let out a little hack, he'd dramatically slap both hands over his mouth, so none of my polluted cooties would reach his lungs, all the while pinning himself against the far side of his seat. It's viewing experiences like that that really help me appreciate the beauty that is Netflix.