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Docn Roll Film Festival presents: Walking In the Opposite Direction: Adrian Borland & The Sound

by Khyle Deen. Published Mon 10 Apr 2017 00:43

Doc’n Roll Film Festival Presents - an exclusive UK Q&A Film Tour with the director and producer, including London, Brighton, Liverpool, Hull, plus more cities to be announced.

“Walking in the Opposite Direction” is a documentary about the savagely charismatic music and troubled life of Adrian Borland, leader of British post-punk’s great lost icons The Sound.  The film will have its UK premiere at the ICA on April 26th 2017, marking the 18th anniversary of Adrian’s passing.

“I can’t escape myself,” one of Adrian Borland’s best-known songs proclaimed, and this is a tale of a headstrong talent whose dark despair dogged him to the end of his short life.

The English singer-songwriter’s savagely confessional lyrics, passionate vocals and brooding guitar work fueled The Sound, the charismatic Stooges-and Joy Division-influenced post- punk band for which he is best known. He would win critical acclaim and a fiercely loyal cult following, but after a long battle with mental illness, took his own life on 26 April 1999.

Made in the Netherlands where Borland found his greatest acclaim, this haunting documentary is by turns troubling and tender. Directed by Marc Waltman in his first feature outing, the project was driven by longtime fan Jean-Paul van Mierlo, who was inspired by the music documentary Searching for Sugarman to undertake a homage to the Wimbledon- born Borland.

Combining performance footage, photos and interviews with friends, partners, collaborators and his father Bob, a constant support in his career, Walking in the Opposite Direction traces Borland’s career from early punk band The Outsiders, through critically acclaimed Sound albums including Jeopardy (1980) and In The Lion’s Mouth (1981), to his final solo recordings. Waltman’s film captures the exhilaration and charisma of Borland’s music, as well as the black dread that followed him.

Unflinchingly honest about the singer’s battles with schizoaffective disorder, intermittent hospitalisation and episodes of violent anger, Walking in the Opposite Direction turns a humane, reflective eye on Borland’s determination to make ruthlessly honest and wilfully uncommercial music in the face of personal demons. In his final decision to abandon the medication that stifled his creativity, we see Adrian Borland following his muse even at the cost of his peace of mind.


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