'Control' opens Directors Fortnight

PARIS — Bono and members of New Order and Depeche Mode will be among guests — and may even perform — at the opening-night bash of the Cannes Film Festival sidebar Directors’ Fortnight on May 17, after a gala screening of the Ian Curtis biopic “Control.”

Black-and-white film about the life and suicide at 23 of the lead singer of cult ”80s band Joy Division marks pop photographer and video director Anton Corbijn’s helming debut. Becker Intl. produced.

Pic’s based on “Touching From a Distance,” a book by the musician’s widow, Deborah Curtis, played in the film by Samantha Morton, and recounts the love triangle that both she and his mistress believe drove him to take his life.

The Curtis story is one of the strands in Michael Winterbottom’s “24 Hour Party People,” the Factory Records faux docu that screened in competition in Cannes in 2002, but “Control” is a totally different film, said Directors’ Fortnight topper Olivier Pere.

“It is a surprising love story about someone who was very ordinary and very modest. It is very close to English cinema from the ’60s and ’70s, with a political and social backdrop,” Pere said.

However, it does feature concert scenes and a dozen Joy Division songs, as well as other pop music from the era.

To mark the 27th anniversary of Curtis’ death on May 18, 1981, Corbijn has invited his pop star friends to attend the Directors’ Fortnight screening and party afterward, when there will be a minute’s silence to remember Curtis.

Some of them could well perform at the opening-night party alongside Sam Riley, the actor who plays Curtis and sings some of the songs in the film with his own rock band.

Gallic distrib La Fabrique de Films is hosting the party along with Warner Music, which will be releasing the soundtrack of the movie, and Becker Intl.

“We don’t know exactly what is going to happen, but New Order haven’t played together for years,” said La Fabrique topper Franck Ribiera on Wednesday.

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