Imagine your mind has been wiped: memories, knowledge, experiences, language – every word you ever spoke, has vanished. If eventually you found the words, what would you say? For Edwyn Collins, The Possibilities Are Endless.
Singer, songwriter and lead to Scottish rock band Orange Juice, Edwyn Collins suffered a hemorrhagic stroke in 2005. Hospitalised for 6 months, he lost his memory and his speech, awaking able only to say two phrases: “Grace Maxwell”, his wife’s name, and “the possibilities are endless”.
Directors Edward Lovelace and James Hall interviewed Collins and his wife 6 years after the stroke, as Collins was still recovering his speech, and used this foggy half-clarity as a hook to allow the audience to step into his world. The film follows Lovelace and Hall’s 2012 success, Part of Me, an intimate look into the life of pop star Katy Perry, and takes place in a very different location – Helmsdale, the Scottish coastal village much loved by Collins before his accident.
This moving film opens with a reflection upon Collins’s early disorientation and confusion, into this swirling mindscape come moments of clear memory: Collins as a handsome frontman full of confidence. Collins’s son William is cast as a young Edwyn, courting Grace (Yasmin Paige), the woman who would become his partner, his manager and his rock. We then follow the recovery of Collins, the film sensitively charting the singer’s efforts towards performing his old songs again, as well as even writing and recording new material.
The two filmmakers place the audience within Collin’s mind, taking them on an extraordinary journey from the brink of death back to language, music, life and love as his wife helps to submerge Collins in a landscape of memories. Narrated by Collins himself, this film is not only a story of determination; but a life-affirming tale of rediscovery.
The Possibilities Are Endless, in UK cinemas, available on iTunes and on tour with Edwyn Collins now.
More information on the film can be found at www.thepossibilities.co.uk.
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