Out on DVD from Momentum Pictures, directed by Dutch
director Klaartje Quirijns, Inside Out is a
documentary about one of the most visionary and
influential photographers of the late 20th century,
fellow Nederlander Anton Corbijn.
Corbijn's name is one of those rare artists whose name
is known the world over across many cultural forms -
art, photography, cinema, music and video.
Corbijn came to prominence in the late 1970s for his
photography work with Joy Division and most
importantly, the fatal Ian Curtis. Corbijn's
shots of them on a snow covered bridge in Manchester
helped the band migrate across the atlantic before the
untimely suicide of Curtis in 1980. Corbijn's
first feature-length film in 2007 would be Control,
the story of Ian Curtis and Joy Division.
Corbijn's inspiring work would continue through the
1980s with his seminal work for U2 (the War album in
1982) and Depeche Mode in 1987 culminating with his
work with Kurt Cobain and Nirvana in the early
1990s. One fact I was unaware of was that he
directed the video for Nirvana's Heart Shaped Box.
Corbijn remains the go to guy for album covers and
sleeve photography, as the film shows him interacting
with Arcade Fire and the most recent collaboration
between Metallica and Lou Reed.
Director Quirijns does not force the glamour of these
rock superstars down our throat, Bono is first seen
hiding behind a blacked out passenger window of a car;
but what is paramount is that all these superstars
treat him as an equal because his style has helped
them become the stars they are.
Yet Quirijns makes clear that Corbijn is at times a
loner, and through his love of music he found a place
in the world - he learnt English from listening to
albums, yet he is drawn to these lost souls (Curtis,
Cobain) as he is one himself. One startling
moment comes when Corbijn is lying in his Dutch
apartment, his amplifier is broken so he cannot listen
to any music, he is lost without his music.
The director cleverly shoots the film with Corbijn
never centre of the frame, he is just off centre
mostly as if he is a subject in his own work.
We meet his colleagues and work associates who worry
for his stamina, his workaholic ethic is putting a lot
of strain on him - gallery exhibitions, meetings,
album shoots, film direction - how can one man sustain
himself for this level of quality. Perhaps the
need to be globally accepted and regarded comes from
the lack of love he got from his father, something we
are alluded to when Corbijn goes to meet his mother
who tells him she did not love his father.
Insightful, entertaining and eye-opening to a world of
glamour and celebrity, Inside Out is a telling
document on one of the world's most revered artists
whose work will be remembered for many years.
Anton Corbijn: Inside Out is released on DVD from
Momentum Pictures on Monday 17th September at
£12.99RRP featuring scene select with English