I saw this great, great film a couple of weeks ago at a special event at the Edinburgh Filmhouse, which included a Q&A with one of the directors, Edward Lovelace, Edwyn Collins and his wife and manager Grace Maxwell. The latter is a naturally hilarious person, as can be gleaned from watching the movie, but it was a real pleasure to watch her and Edwyn firing off each other in real time.
It was an inspiring evening – as well as watching a superb film, we enjoyed an acoustic set by Edwyn and Carwyn Ellis after the Q&A. He’s in fine voice.
Directed by Edward Lovelace and James Hall, it tells the story of Edwyn Collins’ recovery from a near-fatal stroke in early 2005, but not in an obvious documentary style; rather, they use dramatic allusion to a great extent, especially in the quite scary opening sequence (act?) which portrays the stroke itself as violent, uncontrollable weather which overwhelms everything around it. Later, we see the early relationship between Edwyn and Grace played out in vignettes featuring their son, William and the actor Yasmin Paige (Jordana in Submarine) – again, allusion, not documentary.
The parts of the film which focus on Edwyn and Grace’s relationship are intimate but not intrusive and overwhelmingly positive. There are no depictions of Edwyn’s medical history or subsequent therapy and at no point is he depicted as a heroic stroke survivor; as always, the quiet humour of the couple is front and centre. Clearly, Edwyn’s stroke was a very bad thing, but the couple seem to have made another, different, good thing in its aftermath.