photo manipulation & text by nacrowe
NEW ORDER was notorious for their OBLIQUENESS and SECRETIVE nature, especially with regards to their relationship with the press. which can best be described as "complicated." given how such took the death of their friend and former JOY DIVISION bandmate IAN CURTIS and ran with such, their reticence makes perfect sense.
this effective prohibition on press interactions makes the very concept of a documentary about their career a seeming PARADOX in and of itself. how do you create a film that investigates a subject that by definition does everything in its power to reveal nothing. such is what makes the self-produced NEW ORDER STORY (WARNER, 1993) documentary, which came out the same year as the REPUBLIC (LONDON, 1993) LP, such an intriguing artifact.
in terms of construction, the structure utilized revolves around the knowing SUPERFICIAL ARTIFICE of a tacky game show hosted by KEITH ALLEN to bring up topics such as the death of CURTIS, the formation of NEW ORDER, the meaning of their lyrics and artwork and their relationship with MANCHESTER through their HACIENDA nightclub. requisite intercut interviews with their manager ROB GRETON, business partner TONY WILSON and visual artist PETER SAVILLE as well as the likes of BONO (U2), NEIL TENNANT (PET SHOP BOYS), producer QUINCY JONES and writer JON SAVAGE, all of whom attest to their greatness at one point or another and sadly are largely not interesting in the least.
there is a lot of SARCASM and SARDONIC FLAIR, especially with how each individual member is presented in separate interviews, but in the end you are still left wondering who or what is NEW ORDER. which i guess was kind of the point.
if you would like further insight into the band, id point you towards bassist PETER HOOK's two memoirs UNKNOWN PLEASURES: INSIDE JOY DIVISION (IT, 2012) and SUBSTANCE: INSIDE NEW ORDER (DEY STREET, 2017) regarding his time in both iconic bands (reviews linked HERE and HERE).
skip this documentary entirely. it is bollocks!