Hot Docs – Shadow Play
Is it just me, or does Anton Corbijn take a little credit for the celebrity of the musicians he took pictures of. He even preferred that the Moonmen of the MTV awards go to the directors instead of the musicians. Well, I guess he could be right about that.
“Shadow Play” does give you new insight on Corbijn’s aesthetic. He’s stereotypically a dark photographer who took pictures of gothy artists like Joy Division and Depeche Mode. What the documentary shows is how Rembrandt influenced him. There’s two or three sentences dedicated to how his father only took him to those art shows. But everything makes sense after hearing about that streak in him. The iconography, the tenebrism. EVERYTHING. I wonder if he gets blurrier as he gets older.
It also shows his humourous side. I didn’t know he directed “Heart Shaped Box.” I didn’t realize how funny and surrealist those images were, and the documentary makes it look exactly that instead of the hallowed interpretation the original video had. I didn’t know I could respect Cobain again. I didn’t know Corbijn did colour.
The movie also documents him shooting his first feature, “Control.” Seeing the making-of of that film takes away the varnish that black and white films normally present. Although Sam Riley gives the performance of his life, I do prefer Ian Curtis as a character in”24 Hour Party People” better.
Corbijn looks a bit like Mario Testino. Both tackle celebrities although the former’s gloom is nothing like the latter’s luxury.
And I didn’t catch on with the daddy issues.
And despite me apprehensions I can’t wait for “The American.”