One More Time with Feeling ★★★★

Sad in a half-finished way (that's why it's sad), based around a numbness and emptiness that can't be filled by the filmmaker's style, or even the songwriter's art. Spent about three seconds wondering if the rather coy waiting game that keeps dropping hints of the tragedy hanging over the movie (the death of Arthur Cave) without actually naming it is somehow exploitative, but it's not like anyone's trying to pull a fast one on Nick Cave; he knows what's going on, and if he wants to turn his bereavement into a kind of performance, acknowledging his knowledge of our knowledge of his grief and even playing with it - "This is difficult. This is really fucking difficult," he says gloomily, but it turns out he's 'only' talking about overdubbing a vocal - that just makes it more touching (and also fits in with his notion of tragedy as a "fenced-off" area that can never be accessed). Wasn't quite working for a while, precisely because it's about an ongoing process with no resolution, then a purposely empty frame and the sound of children's voices right at the end opened the floodgates for me. Also it's now apparent that no amount of tragedy can stop Nick Cave from writing and singing Nick Cave songs, aliens could blow up the world and he'd be skulking through the ruins singing Nick Cave songs. There's something reassuring in that.