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Music fans were devastated when New Order announced their split a month ago. However, just days after the break-up, Peter Hook, Bernard Sumner, and Stephen Morris were all in Cannes together, screening the Ian Curtis biopic, Control. Ouch. Hook tells the Manchester Evening News that the meeting was awkward but that they took it in mature stride:

“It was a bit tetchy, to say the least,” reveals bassist Peter Hook.”It was the first time we’d met up since we split up. I mean the thing is, we’re 50 years old, not 15, if things don’t work out, or someone’s not happy you get on with it, you have to.”

Watching the film, directed by Anton Corbjin, was a surreal but healing experience for them, says Hook. Control depicts the life and death of Curtis, the morose lead singer of Joy Division whose tragic 1980 suicide left bandmates Sumner, Hook, and Morris devastated and worried about their future. The grieving trio later re-grouped and re-named the band New Order, becoming one of the ’80s pioneering dance acts. In spite of the sadness shown in the film, Hook says he’s comforted by its success:

“I think it’s wonderful really that Control is doing so well, it’s certainly cheered me up because not having New Order is like a bereavement. So it helped me, if you like.”

Interestingly, before the New Order split, Sumner, Hook, and Morris recorded under the name Joy Division for the film’s soundtrack.

Here’s a YouTube clip of “Disorder,” my favorite Joy Division song, set to clips from 2001: A Space Odyssey. It works eerily well, considering the late Curtis’ resemblance to Keir Dullea in the Kubrick film.

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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.