When Jean-Paul asked for my input on his plan to make a film about his hero ‘Adrian Borland’ I thought: “Come and visit me, we have a beer and then we will see how it goes”.  At that time the Sound meant little to me and I had no feeling whatsoever with Adrian Borland. But that immediately changed when Jean-Paul came to visit that night. The large impact of Adrian Borland’s music on the life of Jean-Paul; the lyrics that gave him recognition and comfort: it really intrigued me. 

That night I learned that Adrian Borland’s life was an emotional rollercoaster, where he fought against the person from whom he couldn’t escape. Several times Adrian secretly attempted to end his life, and without his admirers knowing about it, he took them on his personal journey full of ups and downs. Schizoaffective disorder: that’s what it was called.

 

During the production of the film we met so many kind people, who were all friends of Adrian. This taught us that Adrian, despite his battle, was a very endearing person who entertained others and knew how to touch them. Everyone was extremely welcoming to us and they were very open to share their relation with Adrian. Special moments, often combined with a laugh and a tear at the same time.

 

As filmmaker I was caught by the decision of Adrian to stop taking his medication. The fact that the pills blunted him and slowed down his creativity was unbearable for him. A terribly frightening scenario for free spirits to be unable to create anymore. The choice between two evils. The dilemma seems impossible and it has touched me.

Looking back my first long documentary film was in many respects an exciting journey. The big challenge to make an intimate film about someone who could not speak himself. Adrian’s dad, friends and acquaintances all told their stories, Adrian made his soul speak through his lyrics.

 

Marc Waltman.