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17 June 2019

I Remember Nothing (Reimagined Video)

by Alice May

Joy Division: “I Remember Nothing (Reimagined Video)” - 5 mins 53s

Can it really be forty years since 'Unknown Pleasures' was released? This album - whose influence has reached far down the decades - heralded a completely new direction in music.

Suddenly sixth form common rooms were filled with the sound of 'She's Lost Control' and 'New Dawn Fades' as groups of skinny, intense boys hunched over the record player and listened on repeat, discussing the vocals of Ian Curtis in awed tones.

After the aggressive disaffection of punk, this was disenfranchisement of a different kind. It spoke of the misfit watching from the sidelines; a sense of alienation turned inwards; awkwardness, self-hatred, loneliness. The rallying cry for angsty teens too full of their own self-consciousness to speak. And it made all of the above cool and desirable.

Today, those early listeners are parents and grandparents, and are still somewhat smug at having been the first to recognise Joy Division's significance.

It won't come as any surprise, then, that to mark this anniversary ten new videos have been commissioned - one for each track on the album - created by artists and directors whose work has in some way or other been shaped by 'Unknown Pleasures'.

This particular clip by director duo Helgi and Hörđur features two men locked in conflict in the otherworldly terrain of Iceland. The barren backdrop is unforgiving as they wrestle; we see them alternately wearing black and white as if representing elemental forces battling for supremacy. It's relentless, but so is the song. A fitting piece of visual bleakness.

Director's Agent: Double Agent Ⓦ
Producer: Ólafur Páll Torfason
Executive Producer: Warren Jackson / Orian Williams (USA)
Cinematographer: Hákon Sverrisson
Camera Team: Hjálmar Ţór Hjálmarsson / Nicholas Ţór Peter Helgason
Gaffer: Stefán Freyr Margrétarson
Stylist: Brynja Skjaldardóttir
Make-Up: Flóra Karítas Buenańo
Choreography: Katrín Gunnarsdóttir
Editor: Guđni Halldórsson / Helgi Jóhannsson
Actor: Baltasar Breki Samper / Hilmir Jensson

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