Anton Corbijn

Anton Corbijn

Infobox Person

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birth_date = birth date and age|1955|5|20
birth_place = Strijen, Netherlands
residence = London, United Kingdom
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occupation = Photographer, director
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Anton Corbijn (pronounced IPA| [kɔrˈbɛin] ) (born May 20, 1955) is a photographer and director from Strijen, the Netherlands. He is also well known for directing music videos, including Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" (1989) and the award-winning video of Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box" (1993), as well as directing the award-winning Ian Curtis biopic "Control".

He is widely acknowledged by the music industry, mainly for being the creative director of the visual output of prominent bands like Depeche Mode and U2, having handled the principal promotion and sleeve photography for both for more than a decade.


Corbijn began taking photographs during a live concert in 1972. In 1979 he moved to London, England and became a regular photographer for the New Musical Express. His first assignment was Bill Haley, but he became best known for his work with such post punk bands as Joy Division and Public Image Ltd.. Later, he began to divide his time between America and England, shooting editorially for Spin, Details, Vogue, and Rolling Stone.

Corbijn decided to move into directing music videos, more or less accidentally. Palais Schaumburg asked him to do one, which he reluctantly accepted. After seeing "Video", Propaganda insisted that Corbijn would direct "Dr. Mabuse". After that, David Sylvian, Echo & The Bunnymen and Golden Earring asked for his services. Front 242 was presented Corbijn's artwork and accepted shooting a video with him, it resulted in a very strange version of "Headhunter" (which he understood as "Egg Hunter") due to Corbijn's rather limited knowledge of the English language at the time. [ [ An egg or a head ? Anton Corbijn did not really know.] ] Nevertheless, it became a milestone in Corbijn's career.

In 1994, after directing various music videos, Corbijn directed a short film about Captain Beefheart for the BBC called "Some Yoyo Stuff".

In 2005, Palm Pictures released a DVD collection of Corbijn's music video output as part of the Director's Label series. As well as a 56-page booklet, the DVD also includes outtakes, shorts and documentaries as well as commentaries on various videos from the artists themselves.

On 17 May, 2007 Corbijn's first feature film "Control" about the life of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis premiered to rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival. [ [ BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Critics applaud Joy Division film ] ] The film is based on Deborah Curtis's book "Touching From A Distance" about her late husband and the new biography "Torn Apart" by Lindsay Reade (Tony Wilson's ex-wife) and Mick Middles. Although shown outside the Palme d'Or competition, Control was the big winner of the Director's Fortnight winning the CICAE Art & Essai prize for best film, the "Regards Jeunes" Prize award for best first or second directed feature film and the Europa Cinemas Label prize for best European film in the sidebar. [ [ "Control" at Cannes] ]


Corbijn tends to eschew traditional glamour photography, instead favoring a rawer look, often in black-and-white. His subjects appear to be calm and far removed from everyday life. His photographs show raw emotion. His influential style of black and white imagery with stark contrasts on grainy film (he has said the process is somewhere close to a Lith-Print) has been imitated and copied in such extent that it has become a rock cliché and a vital part of the visual language in the 1990s. Fact|date=February 2007

He has worked directly with such distinguished writers and journalists as former Conde Nast executive chief James Truman, Nick Kent, Bart Bull, Nick Cave, William Burroughs, Everett True, Alan Jones, Tony Parsons, and many others.

Music video filmography

* "Hockey", Palais Schaumburg (1983)
* "Beat Box", Art of Noise (1984)
* "Dr. Mabuse", Propaganda (1984)
* "Red Guitar", David Sylvian (1984)
* "Seven Seas", Echo & the Bunnymen (1984)
* "The Ink in the Well", David Sylvian (1984)
* "Pride (In the Name of Love)" (third version), U2 (1984)
* "Bring on the Dancing Horses", Echo & the Bunnymen (1985)
* "Quiet Eyes", Golden Earring (1986)
* "A Question of Time", Depeche Mode (1986)
* "Bedbugs and Ballyhoo", Echo & the Bunnymen (1987)
* "Strangelove", Depeche Mode (1987)
* "Pimpf", Depeche Mode (1987)
* "The Game", Echo & the Bunnymen (1987)
* "Never Let Me Down Again", Depeche Mode (1987)
* "Lips Like Sugar" (first version), Echo & the Bunnymen (1987)
* "Behind the Wheel", Depeche Mode (1987)
* "Welcome to Paradise", Front 242
* "My Secret Place", Joni Mitchell with Peter Gabriel (1988)
* "Blueprint", Rainbirds (1988)
* "Atmosphere", Joy Division (1988)
* "Headhunter", Front 242 (1988)
* "Faith and Healing", Ian McCulloch (1989)
* "Sea of Time", Rainbirds (1989)
* "White City of Light", Rainbirds (1989)
* "Personal Jesus", Depeche Mode (1989)
* "Killer Wolf", Danzig (1990)
* "Enjoy the Silence" (first version), Depeche Mode (1990)
* "Policy of Truth", Depeche Mode (1990)
* "World in My Eyes", Depeche Mode (1990)
* "May This Be Your Last Sorrow", Banderas (1990)
* "Clean", Depeche Mode (1991)
* "Marie", Herbert Grönemeyer (1991)
* "Two Faces", Rainbirds (1991)
* "Tragedy (For You)", Front 242 (1991)
* "Halo", Depeche Mode (1991)
* "Front By Front", Front 242 (1992)
* "Hail Hail Rock 'n' Roll", Garland Jeffreys (1992)
* "Lover Lover Lover", Ian McCulloch (1992)
* "One" (original version), U2 (1992)
* "Straight To You", Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (1992)
* "Dirty Black Summer", Danzig (1992)
* "Do I Have to Say the Words?", Bryan Adams (1992)
* "I Feel You", Depeche Mode (1993)
* "Walking In My Shoes", Depeche Mode (1993)
* "Condemnation" (first version), Depeche Mode (1993)
* "Heart-Shaped Box", Nirvana (1993), winner MTV Video Music Award for Best Alternative Video
* "Delia's Gone", Johnny Cash (1994)
* "Mockingbirds", Grant Lee Buffalo (1994)
* "In Your Room", Depeche Mode (1994)
* "Liar", Henry Rollins (1994)
* "Love & Tears", Naomi Campbell (1994)
* "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?", Bryan Adams (1995)
* "My Friends (first version)", Red Hot Chili Peppers (1995)
* "Hero of the Day", Metallica (1996)
* "Mama Said", Metallica (1996)
* "Barrel of a Gun", Depeche Mode (1997)
* "It's No Good", Depeche Mode (1997)
* "Useless", Depeche Mode (1997)
* "Please" (first version), U2 (1997)
* "Bleibt Alles Anders", Herbert Grönemeyer (1998)
* "Fanatisch", Herbert Grönemeyer (1998)
* "Goddess on a Hiway" (second version), Mercury Rev (1998)
* "Stars", Roxette (1999)
* "Opus 40" (first version), Mercury Rev (1999)
* "Salvation", Roxette (1999)
* "Chemical" (first version), Joseph Arthur (2000)
* "In The Sun", Joseph Arthur (2000)
* "Invalid Litter Dept.", At the Drive-In (2001)
* "Freelove" (second version), Depeche Mode (2001)
* "Mensch", Herbert Grönemeyer (2002)
* "Electrical Storm", U2 (2002)
* "Re-Offender", Travis (2003)
* "Zum Meer", Herbert Grönemeyer (2003)
* "All These Things That I've Done" (second version) The Killers (2005)
* "Talk", Coldplay (2005)
* "Suffer Well", Depeche Mode (2005)
* "En händig man", Per Gessle (2007)
* "Viva la Vida" (second version), Coldplay (2008)

Books by Corbijn

* Famouz (1989)
* Strangers (1990)
* Allegro (1991)
* Grönemeyer, Photographien von Anton Corbijn (1993)
* Star Trak (1996)
* 33 Still Lives (1999)
* Stripping Girls (2000, with Marlene Dumas)
* Werk (2000)
* A. Somebody, Strijen, Holland (2002)
* Everybody Hurts (2003)
* U2 & I (2005)
* In Control (2008)


External links

* [ Official Site]
* [ Anton Corbijn biography]
* [ Anton Corbijn biography, exhibitions, most known photos]
*imdb name|0179221|Anton Corbijn
* [ Director videography]
* [ Director's Label info]
* [ "Q & A: Anton Corbijn"] , "", October 3, 2006.
* [ Audio Interview with Anton Corbijn on Radio Papesse - U2&I]
* [ "Closer to Joy"] by Stephanie Zacharek, "", October 10, 2007.

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