Edward Lovelace and James Hall • Directors
by Héctor Llanos Martínez
- Edward Lovelace and James Hall screened their documentary The Possibilities Are Endless, about English Singer songwriter Edwyn Collins in London, and we spoke to them
No better opening than the chords of A Girl Like You by Edwyn Collins for The Possibilities Are Endless [+see also:
interview: Edward Lovelace and James H…
film profile]. The documentary takes a very original approach to the life of the British singer songwriter after suffering a stroke. It’s no ordinary documentary. It explains, in a way that’s more poetic than informative, the process that led the musician to rebuild himself almost from scratch, with the help of his wife Grace. Despite losing his voice, in a few years he even succeeds in making records again. Behind the camera are Edward Lovelace and James Hall, who, almost by accident, have related all of their filmography to music, having directed the documentaries Werewolves Across America and Katy Perry: Part of Me. Both spoke to Cineuropa during the London Film Festival.
Cineuropa: This documentary practically disregards on-camera testimonies. The thoughts of its protagonists are only heard, while the backdrop of Edwyn Collins’ daily life and fictitious images are displayed on screen.
Edward Lovelace and James Hall: From the outset we were surprised by how collaborative Edwyn and Grace were with the project, but we wanted to adapt to their pace and to their circumstances. We knew that it would be easier for him if the camera wasn’t on all the time. Particularly if were to achieve a feeling of intimacy, as we didn’t plan for this film to be a run-of-the-mill documentary. Nor is it a biography or a fiction movie - it has a more subjective approach than films of that genre.
The movie is in fact fit for those who aren’t familiar with his music.
We knew the singer for example and we liked him, but we weren’t fans and our work with him wasn’t based on keeping his fans happy. It’s not what you expect from a rockumental. We view Edwyn as someone with a very powerful personal story, worthy of being told, distinct from the fact that he had a very interesting music career.
Why are your three documentaries related to music?
Although it might seem unbelievable, you could say that it happened by accident. In Werewolves Across America we certainly did want to show British musicians in the United States, but the Katy Perry subject was a job that we decided to accept. In the case of The Possibilities Are Endless, it wasn’t the music, it was a coincidence.
Is it easier to find financing in this subgenre, given that you can also count on the potential collaboration of the music industry?
It’s certainly true that working with a big name in the music industry - like Katy Perry, Morrissey or David Bowie – solves a lot of problems in that regard, but it only occurs with the big stars. With the rest, although it’s more difficult to get financing, you avoid a lot of external pressure.
(Translated from Spanish)