Get local news delivered straight to your phone
Support City Paper!
Edwyn Collins’ musical career extends back to the ’70s, but he’ll forever be best known for his 1994 solo hit “A Girl Like You.” That’s where James Hall and Edward Lovelace’s documentary on the singer/songwriter begins, with a performance of the song on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, but things quickly take a turn toward the abstract. The screen is taken over by amorphous blue wisps, as Collins and his wife, Grace Maxwell, talk in voiceover about the 2005 stroke that left him hospitalized for months, only able to say “Yes,” “No,” his wife’s name, and the phrase that gives this documentary its name: “The possibilities are endless.” This is biography as a daring experiment in form, as Hall and Lovelace structure the doc as if to reflect Collins’ own reality as he began his slow recovery. He describes the initial stages as “screwy and abstract,” and that’s how things initially seem in the film, with gorgeous images of the Scottish coastline filling the screen, seeming only tangentially related to Collins’ and Maxwell’s commentary. Slowly, those connections become clearer, including gradually more direct reenactments of the histories being recounted, until the filmmakers finally give us footage of Collins’ return to the stage.