WALKING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION is a film about the tragic struggle of singer and songwriter Adrian Borland. The documentary will have its world premiere at the IDFA 2016 and filmmaker Marc Waltman will make his debut in the category long films with “Walking in the Opposite Direction”
Moving, affecting, painful, beautiful, honest and truthful. This is a wonderful film. The tragedy of Adrian’s battle with himself and his disease balanced with his joy and love of life and his creativity. Be very proud. It’s irrelevant whether you know of Adrian or The Sound or not. This is the universal story of the razor’s edge that so many artists walk between heaven and hell.
(Wally Brill, Music Producer, October 2016)
Adrian Borland (born on 6 December 1957 in Hampstead, England) is a passionate teenager and he loves Iggy Pop and the Stooges. Music is his pride and joy. Around 1977 Adrian, together with a couple of friends, forms his own punk band ‘The Outsiders’. With the help of Adrian’s dad, the band members record their first album. The band was playing in the living room and a TEAC tape recorder above in the bedroom recorded everything. This album is the first punk record that was self-released in England.
At the beginning of the eighties ‘The Outsiders’ evolves in ‘The Sound’. Punk is now called New Wave and the band starts to pave the road to success. Their debut album “Jeopardy“ and their next album “From The Lions Mouth” are fairly successful. The latter is even considered as a New Wave classic.
“……..songs - that's melodies perfectly complementing emotion - sounding exactly the way they were intended to sound. "Lion's Mouth" could be the end of the line for me and "rock" records - it's that good. While others content themselves posturing, pontificating in some show business vacuum, the Sound stand up and want to know why.”
(Quote The Sound - From the Lions Mouth review (Melody Maker 24-10-1981)
While bands from the same generation and with the same style, like ‘U2’ and ‘Echo and the Bunnymen’ manage to reach the big public, the big success for ‘The Sound’ is not forthcoming. This, despite the huge appreciation of the music press. Only in the Netherlands the band builds up a large fan base.
One night in the winter of 1986 Adrian tries to kill his dad. Paranoia and in psychotic condition he is urgently admitted to the hospital. After a short stay he is diagnoses with “schizoaffective disorder”. Adrian manages to hide his illness from the band members, till he gets another psychosis in 1987 during a tour. From that moment in time the psychotic periods continuously follow one another, therefore the band decides to quit with ‘The Sound”.
Adrian continues as a solo artist and mainly lives in the Netherland during the nineties. In Leiden he flourishes when he meets Resi, the love of his life. But when he stops taking his medication, he has a severe setback. So he is admitted to the psychiatric hospital “Vogelenzang’. During his stay he records his most optimistic record: a tribute to Resi.
The depressions last longer and longer and Adrian drinks too much alcohol. Mainly during these periods his lyrics become even more personal and you can literally read his pain afterwards.
After a period of wandering through the Netherlands, Germany and England Adrian starts with a new solo record ‘Harmony and Destruction’ in London in January 1999. The lyrics are strong, the recordings go well and expectations are that this record will put Adrian back on the map. But suddenly Adrian decides to stop taking his medication because he believes that they effect his singing. Soon the depression and paranoia returns. Adrian tries to scare away his demons by drinking alcohol but it doesn’t work. In the early morning of 26 April 199 Adrian leaves his parent’s house, walks calmly to Wimbledon station and around 7:00 hours he jumps in front of the train.
Walking in the Opposite Direction was made with passion and dedication. Crowdfunding and the sale of Adrian Borland’s old guitars and guitar case have provided for a part of the financing. Apart from that, the film is mainly the result of the big time investment that the director and producer made on the project.
Year: 2016 | Length: 96 minutes | Languages: English, Dutch | Countries of production: UK, the Netherlands and US | Shooting format: Betacam SP, HD, 4k | Screening format: DCP Screening ratio: 16:9 | Frame rate: 25fps |Sound: 5.1
Jean-Paul van Mierlo - Producer
Marc Waltman - Director, Writer, Editor
Thijn Teeuwissen - Director of Photography
Martijn Prins - Sound, Photography