Monday, 3 November 2014

The Possibilities Are Endless

Last night I attended the Glasgow premiere of The Possibilities Are Endless, the new film/documentary on the recovery of Edwyn Collins from a major cerebral haemorrhage in 2005.

As a fan of Edwyn's music, having seen the trailer and read Grace Maxwell's fantastic and deeply personal book Falling and Laughing - The Restoration of Edwyn Collins, I was very keen to see the film at the GFT - especially with the added bonus of a Q&A and short acoustic set afterwards.

The Possibilities Are Endless is a fascinating, beautiful, artistic and moving film, directed with thought, empathy and a real creative flair by Pulse Films.

We are placed inside Edwyn's mind as he wakes from his stroke - the confusion is evident, illustrated by shots of a young boy seemingly drowning, the wind blowing through the grass, a storm brewing, distorted and stuttering words.

There was a Q&A with Edwin, Grace and Ed from Pulse afterwards and the audience learned of how Pulse interviewed Edwyn first (with no cameras), before considering how to set the story to film. Possibly a risky tactic, but one they have pulled off superbly.

At the heart of the film lies a love story, the love between Grace and Edwyn and also that of their love for Helmsdale in the north of Scotland where they are moving to.

There are lovely scenes of them walking through a park and sharing a can of ginger beer, Grace looking on with care as Edwyn attempts to find the words he knows are in there during an interview and the pair of them laughing in a car as they drive to their beloved Helmsdale in the north of Scotland. Grace's encouragement and patience was crucial to Edwyn's recovery.

We learn of how Edwyn could only say 'The possibilities are endless' and 'Grace Maxwell' when he woke from a coma. There is a great TV interview with Edwyn and Grace that ends with Grace strumming Edwyn's guitar as he plays the chords and emotional footage of the moment he returned to the stage.

Throughout the film there are scenes of Edwyn in his Orange Juice days, at his peak (sales wise at least) with the success of A Girl Like You. These work in tandem with the scenes of Edwyn regaining his strength and skills - writing, drawing, singing and creating.

There is humour as well - Edwyn and Grace bounce of each other with real affection that you can't help but smile at times and laugh at others.

What I got from the film is that the possibilities are endless if you have love and support. Edwyn is very lucky to have a lovely partner and the help and support of family, friends and musicians. It's a life affirming film that makes you stop and take stock of your health and those that care about you. I would thoroughly recommend catching it on the big screen if possible or downloading it from iTunes now.

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