Saturday, 27 September 2014

20,000 Days On Earth - review

This is not your typical rockumentary. This is more like "a day in the life of a rock star" but specifically the 20,000th day in the life of Nick Cave.

Prior to viewing this film, my knowledge of Nick Cave amounted to a) He is Australian b) he lives in Brighton c) wrote the screenplay and score for The Proposition and d) duetted with Kylie Minogue (a fact that Cave admits brought him a lot of new attention that was short lived when people heard the rest of his stuff).

However you can go into 20,000 Days On Earth with zero knowledge or a PHD in Caveology and there is still so much to admire and enjoy as it paints a lyrical and poetic portrait of a musical icon and the man behind it.

It exposes his songwriting and recording process with a performance of "Higgs-Boson Blues" and also lays bare his soul in a series of confessionals with his psychiatrist, band member Warren Ellis, archivists plus Locke-style conversations with the "are-they or aren't they there" Kylie and the floating head of Ray Winstone.

This brief but brilliant glimpse into Nick Cave's mind culminates in an incredible performance of Jubilee Street at the Sydney Opera House which cuts together 20,000 days of performing into one show-stopping number.

Whether a lifelong fan or casual newcomer, 20,000 Days On Earth will plant the (bad) seed that will see Cave's music play a role in another 20,000 days for many people in the future.

5 stars

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