Sunday, November 30, 2008

Oy Division!

Last night, I had this idea. I realized that I want to start a Klezmer-Rock Joy Division cover band called "Oy Division."

Almost immediately after announcing my intention, I was informed that it'd already been done. I briefly flirted with the idea of a street punk version called "Oi Division," but decided I wasn't as crazy about it. Now you may be asking yourself, "where is all of this coming from?" Well, it's pretty simple. Last night I went to BAM to see the aptly titled documentary Joy Division.

The film was fantastic, far better than my last trip to the movies to see
Zach and Miri. The editing and composition were fantastic but the best part of movie was the involvement of so many people who were integral to the band's history. The surviving members of the band all gave lengthy commentary, along with Ian Curtis's extra-marital girlfriend Annik Honoré, Factory Records founder Tony Wilson, graphic designer Peter Saville, and Buzzcock Pete Shelley. The included interviews focused less on what happened and more on how it happened, which made for an extremely compelling story. Near the film's end, however, it was mentioned that the story doesn't conclude with Curtis' death, going on to gloss over the band's transition into New Order. This was the only part of the film I could say I was disappointed with. It seemed odd that filmmaker Grant Gee would make a point of saying how it's important to note that the story doesn't end with Curtis' death, and subsequently end his story with Curtis' death. I've always been curious how a band like Joy Division could evolve into a band like New Order, and I'd hoped this documentary would shed some light on that.

That gripe aside, the film was alternately funny and poignant, and informative. It was playing as part of BAM's Thanksgiving film series, Punk 'n' Pie, which unfortunately is over as of tonight. The movie is available on DVD, however, so if you're even a little interested in some of the stories behind an important band, check it out.

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