Archive for January, 2010


January 25, 2010

The major events of  Closer were, for the most part, miniscule and conspicuous. However, the film was filled with symbolism, foreshadow, and imagery. Isolation was one of the key components to Ian Curtis’ epileptic experience and the self-shame he bore.

One particular element of imagery and foreshadow occurred when Ian Curtis was talking on the phone to his band manager. He had just had a seizure and missed the flight to the United States tour Joy Division was supposed to be taking. In the middle of his conversation, Curtis turned to the wall, hunched over and became nothing more than a dark figure while a woman was sitting under the light knitting as if there was no one even there. What does this imagery mean? From it I interpreted a single word – a word from Ian Curtis’ own lyrics – isolation.

While everyone else in the world – bandmates, band manger, wife, and friends, represented by a single woman – are living their lives, Curtis fades into the background, drowned in his own self-hate and embarrassment. He is isolated from the rest of this world. Beyond the figure, himself, the shadow represents darkness, confusion, fear, and being lost.

Every lyric in “Isolation” is a reflection of one dark shadow. His pain and humiliation are at stake due to his “devotion and love” for his craft. In the film, the actor who plays Curtis narrates “they don’t know how much I give. And now they want me to give more.” He is “surrendered to self preservation” and keeping to himself so that others may not see his shame, though he is “carefully watched for a reason.”

Another interpretation I received from this shadowed Ian Curtis was the foreshadowing of his death. After he commits suicide, all that would be left is a memory. The darkness of his shadow, itself, symbolizes death.

Ian Curtis’ isolation from the world, his loved ones, etc. is all depicted in this one scene. His isolation from “normality” turns him away from his worldly comfort and daily routine. Though one cannot help but feel a small sense of redemption and hope when reading his lyrics:

“But if you could just see the beauty,

These things I could never describe,

These pleasures a wayward distraction,

This is my one lucky prize.”

Perhaps from this we can infer that death is his one lucky prize. Maybe the freedom of being relieved from his epileptic state is his redemption. Suicide, he felt, was his only option to escape the humiliation he could not bare to face.


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January 14, 2010

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