20,000 Days on Earth (2014)

20,000 Days on Earth (2014) movie poster

directors Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard
viewed: 02/26/2015

I love Nick Cave.  I really do.  He’s one of my favorite musicians.  I’ve been listening to his music for over 30 years.  I’ve seen him in concert several times.  I even got to see him interviewed in person in Austin, TX two years ago.

So, I was very much looking forward to this non-conventional documentary made about him.  20,000 Days on Earth is unusual in that it is shot with a keen eye to aesthetics, a far cry from anything Cinéma vérité, including poetical voiceovers by Cave while shots of him driving or working unreel on screen.  He is interviewed at one point by his therapist(?) and delves into aspects of his life story, his approach to art and writing and editing and music and performance.  He discusses his private life with his wife and children as well, explores his past, as well as his present life in Brighton, England, where he lives.

He’s also seen working with Warren Ellis and other members of the Bad Seeds on their album from 2013, Push the Sky Away.  They show them writing, recording, and performing songs from it, which is kind of cool.

Sadly, I think it’s his worst album I’ve heard, so the insights into him and his process aren’t nearly as interesting as when he was creating more significant or impressive works.  He seems more at peace with himself, so I hardly begrudge him, but the facts are the facts: it’s just not that good.

The movie is beautifully-shot and is interesting, featuring cameos from Blixa Bargeld, Kylie Minogue, and Ray Winstone, chatting with Cave in his car on topics relevant to their relationships.

I don’t know.  It’s not a bad film.  It just didn’t interest me nearly as much as I would have thought it would.

Though I don’t think I’ve ever seen him smile before.

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