Unusually for me have been to see two films in the last two days. Both dealing with social realism UK subject matter and centring on grisly deaths but both in very different ways.

Lotsa flashbulbs popping at the red carpet premiere of Don’t Trigger with various Sugagbabes and premiership players apparently in attendance. Dubbed as a “hip-hop opera” the film deals with gun-crime. This was a high-octane whizzy parade of neon images, computer game screens and driving scenes cut up with Shakerspearian moralising, a string of pop promo like songs and of course a good old fashioned cautionary tale with a dash of romance revolving from the streets of London SW9.

There’s a trailer here  to get a flavour (or should that be flava?). The film ended with footage from a conference held by pressure group Urban Concepts including moving testimony from bereaved mothers, fiery speeches from the likes of Dwayne Brookes, religious folk and politicians.  Harriet Harman was closing speaker before the credits rolled, stridently declaring via the huge screen at the Odeon Leicester Square that there was the potential create something good out of the misery caused by guns. She said more or less the same thing in person onstage to the assembled celebs before the curtain went up. Can’t say fairer than that.  

The day before, I caught Control which you’ll have probably heard of my now. It’s the biopic of doomed barritone crooner Ian Curtis, of Manc indie miserablists Joy Division, who ended up hanging himself on the eve of their first American tour. At just 23 his place in the pantheon of live-fast-die-young rock casualities was thereby assured.

Unlike Don’t Trigger which is a very flashy very metropolitan London flick this was (save for their ferocious live performances) rather slow in pace and shot in black and white with a grim-oop-north vibe that looked like Taste of Honey. I found it utterly absorbing. Macclesfield featured big-time but the monochromatic Hovis advert-like shots made it look rather dreary with the Curtis character dissing it, whereas it was my understanding that this was a “nice” part of the northwest (hell it still stubbornly has a Tory MP). At one point the band-manager promises that they can make shedloads of dosh and move to Cheshire – I thought Macclesfield was desierable Cheshire. The Curtis legend was revived with widow Debbie’s book a few years back and daughter Natalie who appears in the film as a baby has also been speaking out about her dad and bigging up Macclesfield to boot.

Are these films political? Joy Division’s name (after the Nazi concentration camps where pretty Jewish girls were provided as entertainment for German soldiers) attracted accusations of them being fascists for years and matters did not abate when they called themeslves “New Order” for the post-Curtis line-up. In the meantime the powerful message behind No-Trigger should be something that all parties can adhere which is what makes ot a shame that the Tories and LibDems didn’t send anyone of note to see it despite being invited.  

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