20,000 Days On Earth (2014)

IAIN FORSYTH, JANE POLLARD

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

United Kingdom, 2014.  , , , , .  Screenplay by Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard, .  Cinematography by . Produced by , .  Music by ,.  Production Design by .  Film Editing by .

This quasi-documentary has Nick Cave appearing as himself in various situations of pensive reflection, providing the antithesis of popular concert films, in which we go into the mind of the artist and don’t just celebrate performances.  Cave’s inspirations, fears and regrets are mulled over on this his twenty-thousandth day on Earth, his friends and collaborators (including  and ) popping up magically to trade reminiscences about past experiences together and trade ideas of such topics as what it means to be a performer, and what the transaction is between performer and audience member as well as between the performer and their own artistic ambitions.

It sounds pretty dull but it’s actually fresh, funny and gorgeously shot, Cave an intense and intelligent figure who never takes himself too seriously and is as lively and engaging in the conversation scenes as he is when he takes to the stage.  It rides the line between self-conscious myth-building and documentary-style spontaneity very comfortably, some scenes staged and pre-written, others allowed to flow directly from the speakers’ candid thoughts, and is directed with confidence and style.

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