5th October 2007 at 01:00

Anton Corbijn's bleak look at the life of Ian Curtis, the troubled Joy Division singer will hold few surprises for fans of the band: his suicide at the age of only 23 is a well-established part of rock lore.

Nonetheless, photographer Corbijn's biopic has been hailed as a compelling look at the turmoil and claustrophobia which drove the singer to hang himself in his Macclesfield home in May 1980.

Actor Sam Riley, who plays Ian Curtis, has been tipped as one to watch and there are powerful performances from Samantha Morton as his wife and Alexandra Maria Lara, who plays his Belgian lover Annik Honore.

Warning: this is not a first date movie. The film is shot entirely in black and white, and peppered with the jagged and panicky punk songs which made Joy Division famous. It also looks unflinchingly at the singer's epilepsy the title itself is a reference to She's Lost Control, a track inspired by an epileptic girl Ian Curtis befriended while working at a rehabilitation centre.

Friends of the band have attacked the film for lacking humour. And it's true it won't have them rolling in the aisles. But it's a must for any Factory Records-loving muso, even if it does buy somewhat wholesale into the myth of the tortured artist.

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