The film is, of course, Control, Corbijn’s biopic of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis (played by Sam Riley) that was released to critical acclaim last year. The resulting book, In Control, is published by Schirmer/Mosel this month.
Warren Jackson designed and art directed the book of documentary-style imagery taken by Corbijn over the duration of the shoot. “Originally the idea was two books,” says Jackson, “one of which would be Anton’s visual diary of the film-making process, with him taking just one photograph each day, and then the second book was to be me photographing him as he made the film. We decided they would be too similar, so went ahead with just one book of Anton’s photographs and his handwritten commentary.”
Initially, Corbijn’s commentary was to be written on an old typewriter but the prospect of tracking down a suitable model and enough ribbons (not to mention lugging the thing around the film festival circuit) resulted in a change of plan. “Much of Anton’s record cover artwork and music videos have contained art and text created by his own hand, so it made sense that he would handwrite the captions in the book,” says Jackson. “I think Anton came to regret this a little though: he called me at midnight one day from his hotel room in dark, wet Copenhagen where he was holed up with no food or mini-bar and had to write 40 pages by the next afternoon.”
Despite the trials of photographing on set and annotating the images in the book while making the movie itself, In Control is an impressive document for any fan of Corbijn’s first feature film.
In Control, Schirmer/Mosel; €49.80