20,000 Days on Earth (2014) | DVD release

October 22nd, 2014
Author: Meredith Taylor

Directors: Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard

With Nick Cave; Warren Ellis, Kylie Minogue, Ray Winstone

Documentary UK

Far from being a vanity project for musician Nick Cave, this is very much a tribute to the visually inventive talents of British filmmakers, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard. Brighton is also a prominent character seen through lowering skies as angry clouds drift by giving the piece a tormented and even impressionistic feel. Quite rightly so: it’s what you might expect from the life of an prodigiously creative (song)writer who has seen years of drug abuse and soul-searching finally to have come to rest in this prosaic Sussex coastal town with his wife and twin boys.

Thankfully, this is not a talking heads documentary. Most of the time the camera follows Cave: waking up in bed (fully clothed); venturing out in his comfy Jaguar; driving to his recording studios in a windswept seascape; performing and writing in the company of his fellow band members. Through confessions to his analyst a great deal is learnt about his formative years in Australia, his relationship with his father, who appears to have been a strong influence in his idyllic sunny childhood. One of the most memorable episodes is a magical sequence of dreamy prose where Cave describes his ‘love at first sight’ meeting with his wife, who remains an enigmatic presence.

20,000 Days of Earth¬†feels like an intimate stream of consciousness from the musician himself: a biopic film noir with Cave as the charismatic villain. With his Goth hair and ghoulish persona, Cave emerges as both intellectual and rakish; outlandish yet extremely down to earth. But even if you haven’t heard of him or fail to appreciate his music: this is a film to watch and to enjoy. By the end we really enter his world and feel a understanding: and that’s the success of this watchable rockumentary. MT


ON GENERAL RELEASE FROM 19 SEPTEMBER 2014 and from 20 October on DVD



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