Monday, July 21, 2008


I think there is an interesting tension in the movie concerning the non-normative body, the epileptic body. The filmmaker seems intrigued by it, but also scared that showing too much of it will ruin the "realism" ("gritty" black-and-white images of working class England) of the piece. So he shows the first fit and he shows a little bit of Ian Curtis's epileptic-ish dancing and he shows his "double," an epileptic woman, have her "fits." But mostly he seems to want to "control" the "fits." He doesn't show - only alludes to - Curtis's subsequent fits. I (mis-)interpret the movie-title "Control" (rather than "She's Lost Control") as an attempt to control the epileptic with a kind of "realism." Ultimately the result is yet another reductive bio-pic.


Blogger Max said...

That's my main beef with biopics in general, that they tend to reduce the "reason" (for lack of a better term) of someone's entire life to a childhood experience, or an illness, or whatever.

I leave most biopics thinking that they should have been documentaries instead. I mean, what would be so bad about seeing a non-Michael Moore, non-March Of The Penguins type documentary in mainstream theaters?

The only value a biopic can have, in my opinion, is if it manages to reveal something novel--a "message" or otherwise--that only a dramatized reproduction could, something that would normally be beyond the boundaries of the documentary form. I think this works best with characters for whom certain things are a mystery, or whose lives aren't already clearly delineated by facts ... the biopic director can explore those mysteries by filling them in with story, creating "what if?" scenarios ... the documentarian can't get away with this quite as easily.

10:44 AM  

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