“Control” is not a cool movie. depression and pain are not cool.

29Mar09

i just watched Control.

it was awful, by which i mean awfully depressing as it showcases ian curtis’s tormented psyche.

i don’t know if i can listen to Joy Division anymore.  it was one of my favorite bands. and now listening to it feels like somewhat mocking Ian Curtis’s unbearable pain.he could barely even perform by the end.

it brought back so much pain for me. i’ve been a type of annik, except my guitarist boyfriend xavier left his then-girlfriend christine to be with me. and except that he was a dick to me a lot of the time, and ian curtis was not a dick towards annik. but he was towards debbie. oh, how he fucked her over. oh, what a bastard. and to annik. but not enough time was spent in a relationship with annik to get to fuck her over as badly. that’s my guess. when you’re that depressed, sometimes that’s just what happens–you hurt people without meaning too, you hurt people you love against your better judgment, either because that judgment is gone, or because you’ve simply lost control over yourself and your strength. ian curtis was just too young to know what to do, how to seek help, how to say no when he couldn’t handle something anymore, too weak to make decisions. as he said, he lost control.

it brought back so much pain for me because i tried to kill myself too, just like he did in his first attempt. but i sought out help very actively, i went to therapy, i took antidepressants (actually, i tried to kill myself on the 9th day of taking my first antidepressant–and pharmaceutical companies have claimed their drugs don’t impulse patients to kill themselves! at least now they’re admitting to it more and more. was it zoloft? it may have been.

i can sympathize with a lot, a whole damn lot, of ian curtis’s pain. and for journalists to call Control “the coolest movie of 2007” (see the trailer) is not only insulting but terribly hurtful, ignorant, and misleading to susceptible teenage depressives and joy division fans.

ian curtis and kurt cobain and so many others are not cool because they offed themselves. they were cool because of their talent. it is imperative to separate the artists’ coolness-due-to-talent from their mental disturbances so that these qualities are not amalgamated and attributed to these artists. people are not cool because they are depressed, tormented, and suicidal.

just like the first time i watched Girl, Interrupted (trailer), this film has left me feeling with a knot in my stomach, with too many noxious memories up front in my head. in that movie, the character makes it. she gets better after tryign to kill herself more than once and obviously failing. in that movie, getting better is pitched against staying sick, and recovering from depression is depicted as the best possible outcome. this is what should always happen in movies dealing with mental illness. perhaps it would curtail artistic freedom, but it would help save lives. for some reason talented people who kill themselves are cool in our society, and that’s a perversion that must be fixed. by the way, the book by the same name is not as good as the movie.

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