Therapist is the dark debut film by Barry Adamson, who is better known for his haunting movie scores for Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers and David Lynch's Lost Highway than for getting behind the camera. The 40-minute film noir is a about an ethereal Polish immigrant, Monika, searching for her sister. Monika's story merges into that of a film-maker seeking solace on the therapist's couch.
"I thought I could glean an interesting, different, noir-ish spin on what we imagine to be the conventional relationship with a therapist and present a Hitchcock-like tale that pressed all my favourite buttons and would stir people up," says Adamson. "On Therapist, I had the freedom to subvert the soundtrack, play with sound-as-score and mess about with reality and technical reality, something I haven't had a chance to do while scoring for other directors. I do remember, though, David Lynch's excitement about some pieces I came up with for Lost Highway, which I called "scary beds" – beds of sound, noise that can be painted on to the film to set a mood. This also threw up images and ideas for this film."
Therapist is the missing link for Adamson, whose first soundtrack albums, including his first solo album, Moss Side Story, in 1988 and the 1992 Mercury Music Prize nominated Soul Murder, were scored without actual movies.
Adamson rose to fame in the post-punk band Magazine, in the late Seventies, and was a founding member of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. He has made a number of albums, including Back to Cat in 2008, As Above So Below in 1998 and The King of Nothing Hill in 2002. In 2003, he composed the music for Russell Malliphant's Olivier award-winning ballet Broken Fall, with Sylvie Guillem and the George Piper Dances. More recently he has appeared in the BBC comedy Ideal, with Johnny Vegas, and written Maida Hell, which won Best Short Story at Italy's Piemonte Noir festival.
Adamson says his first steps in film-making were like "squeezing myself through the eye of the needle of fear" but he managed to relax into his new role as director. "Not unlike the central character in Therapist, I wanted to lift the lid off my melancholia, pick at the wound, gravitate to the heart of all things ponderous and sepulchral and be rid of it!"
'Therapist' will be screened at Rough Trade East, Old Truman Brewery, London E1 ( www.roughtradeeast.com) 8 June at 7pm. 'Therapist' is out on Monday with a CD of the original soundtrack