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'.
Colin hires a lavish country manor for his extended family to celebrate New Year. Unfortunately for Colin his position of power in the family is under serious threat from the arrival of his estranged brother David.
The Possibilities Are Endless tells the incredible story of Edwyn Collins, the Scottish songwriter who suffered a stroke, an explosion in the brain so severe that it effectively deleted the contents of his mind. After a career as an internationally acclaimed lyricist, he lost all language and was only able to say two phrases: "The Possibilities are Endless" and "Grace Maxwell". The film is narrated by Edwyn, trapped inside his devastated mind and his wife Grace, the woman who pulled him back to life. More than just a story of determination against all odds; it is an intimate and life-affirming journey of rediscovery that celebrates how love, music and language shape our lives.Written by
Scottish musician Edwyn Collins is best known (if at all) for his hits "Rip It Up And Start Again" (with Orange Juice) and "A Girl Like You" which became a worldwide smash in 1994. Despite only having the two hits he was a constant presence in the UK music industry and his witty and opinionated views made him a radio regular. It was after an appearance with Andrew Collins on BBC6Music that he suffered a brain hemorrhage and entered into a coma. This film charts his recovery, his relationship with his partner, and his attempts to make new music.
The problem is it's hard to see who it will appeal to: the film is far too wishy-washy and fails to pin down it's subject. While we watch atmospheric visuals and listen to amazing sound design we drift merely around the edges of the man himself, who barely appears for an hour.
If you've never heard of the man, there is no context. Nothing to say why you should care, and barely anything to show what he was like before the coma. A few brief clips from "Conan O'Brien" and "Top of the Pops" aside, the film remains stubbornly in the etherworld of Collins' coma.
The first hour is dreary, insubstantial indulgence by the film-makers. The last 20 minutes goes some way to redeeming itself by showing more of Edwin at work and with Grace, but the whole thing is lacking. It needed more voices, more history. You learn much more, and are moved more, by the BBC Radio 4 programme "Mastertapes" that features in this film and can still be heard on the Radio 4 website.
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