Now complete: The Dissolve's 2014 Movies To See Checklist
20,000 Days on Earth
A semi-fictionalized documentary about a day in the life of Australian musician Nick Cave's persona.
Came in with no real relationship to Nick Cave or his music and loved this trip... It doesn't exactly enter F FOR FAKE territory, but it's just contrived and calibrated enough, with Cave openly musing about his fascination with narratives and instinctive need to embellish his own experiences, that it wouldn't shock me to learn that the "documentary's" only bit of truth – so far as these things go – is what I came in already knowing: Cave is a fringe rock star who spends a lot of time writing and recording songs. Maybe he doesn't live in Brighton, isn't married to a (stunning) woman named Suzie, doesn't have twin boys, doesn't see a therapist, and there's no team of…
"I am transforming, I am vibrating - I'm glowing - I'm flying! Look at me now!"
I used to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. It's much better now - I'm miserable all the year round these days - and one of the ways I used to get it under control was to take photos and videos of grey, rainy skies. If I could take the weather that was troubling me and turn it into a matter of exposure lengths and f-stops, I could control it.
One of the many, many, many revelations of Jane Pollard and Iain Forsyth's new film about Nick Cave is that he used to do the same thing. Although Cave never struck me as the sort…
Nick Cave plays Nick Cave in a 'documentary' that at times seems to encompass larger cinematic proportions than you would typically associate with the genre. The film is presented as his 20,000 day alive since birth, 24 hours in the life of an artist, a husband, a Dad, a dreamer, a realist and a middle-age man living in Brighton. To call this a documentary is not really true in the strictest sense, regularly drifting into the fictional realm so often inhabited by its subjects songs.
Certainly if you are turned on by the idea of delving into an artists creative process, being taken into the confusing, restless mind that attempts to make sense of their life and world around them…
Memories don’t matter so much to me for I often tend to recall the bad ones: those in which I did something embarrassing or which are dominated by disappointment. Not that I am unhappy about the things I do, it’s just that the good ones fade much faster. Watching a guy recall his memories therefore doesn’t appeal to me as a concept for a ‘documentary’, especially since I’m not a Nick Cave fan per se, although this film fortunately centred on his latest album - Push the Sky Away - that I’ve acquainted more than the rest of his back catalogue. There way too much semi-philosophical mumbling that may work for his spoken-words style of song writing, but which, as…
When I talk about editing as a creative art form, I'm thinking of things like showing Nick Cave kicking the air, then cutting in mid-movement to his younger self completing the same move. Poetry, commentary and emotion in one cut.
This is still brilliant.
Now I will tell you how to slay the dragon.
20,000 Days on Earth is simply the feeling you get when something higher than yourself is levelling with you. Nick Cave, a being drifting around in the philosophical stratosphere at the dumbest of times, is an artist that I never expected to decipher, nor even appreciate. The trailer of this quasi-documentary suggests further impenetrable ramblings about 'Important Stuff', yet I can't imagine a more inviting and welcoming creation of random musings than this.
Tinkering with structure playfully, 20,000 Days's concept is slight yet expansive. Following Nick Cave's 20,000th day on Planet Earth (we can only assume he's spent many more days on other planets), it segues between reminiscing about the…
For me, like David Bowie, Nick Cave stands in high regard, though I'm not listening to his body of work very often. But whenever his Name pops up, it raises my awareness.
"20000 Days on Earth" is a refreshing take on documentaries about famous people. Why not hold up the artificial barrier between Rockstar and Audience? Cave has always been a mysterious figure and by carefully staging everything in this movie, he stays true to himself but also allows the viewer to get a glimpse under Cave's shell.
Cave and his music accompanied me since my early days of visiting clubs. Later I read what he wrote and watched the movies he worked on. And almost every piece he did I liked. I think he is a great artist of our time and this documentary proves it.
These are not the revelations you were looking for.
I could have done with more of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis swapping Nina Simone and Jerry Lee Lewis stories, but this was good - and a lot more fun and playful than I expected it to be.
Far from being the po-faced examination of a Serious Artist, this arch faux-documentary provides a wryly amusing, but still sincere insight into being a creative person. Only the bits of concert footage disappoint; being overlit and lacking in atmosphere.
Worth watching are the DVD/Blu-ray extras, which has some good stuff that should have been in the film: Cave going more in depth about his writing process and influences, talking about Blixa Bargeld's departure, and him and Ray Winstone arguing about fish and chips.
It even managed to make rainy Brighton look like some dream place.
Amusing but unprofound, awkward and aimlessly overdone, much like Nick Cave himself
This film may be well floating next to the body of Miley Cyrus in that swimming pool in Toluca Lake.
Good editing, though.
Los temores y como se enfrenta a la vida Nick Cave. Lo mejro cuando canta. El resto na de na
Still as magical on a third viewing. Part of the wonderful unity of it all is that you can't tell whether or not Forsythe and Pollard started off wanting to make a movie about Nick Cave and ended up finding all these insights into it, or whether they wanted to make a film about creativity and alighted on Cave as a good subject.
Either way, at one point Cave gives an excellent precis of Arthur Koestler's concept of bisociation, so someone on set was well-versed in academic theories of the roots of creative thinking. Of course, he summarises it using the examples of a "Mongolian psychopath" and a murdered clown, but that's just Nick Cave for you.
Taken from this Slashfilm article and Letterboxd-erized here, for my convenience (and yours).
Edit: I re-ordered them so the films…
Films Directed or Co-Directed by Women