Yesternight I attended a pre-screening of
20,000 Days On Earth, a film exploring the legend
and the myth that is the great Nick Cave.
The film combines real conversations in staged environments between the musician and a select group of his friends and collaborators, with the effect of creating a sort of biopic mocku-documentary.
The story takes place over a 24-hour period of Mr. Cave's 20,000th day on earth, and delves deeply into the mind of the man, his artistic process, the memories, the moments and the people who have shaped his philosophy, and figure so profoundly into his disparate body of work. Adding to the richness of the film are the interspersed real-time studio song recordings that treat the viewer to a glimpse into his artistic process.
I could go on an analytical tangent about the nuances, freudian subtleties and complex depth of man and film, but there are adequate articles to be read here and here, if one so desires.
On a personal note, I've been a passionate fan of the many faces (and facets) of Mr. Cave for about fifteen years now, and his mind continues to fascinate me.
I was a bit nervous going into the film, because often I find that pulling the curtain back on a subject that has achieved a mythical standing -- in my view -- can be a bit of a let-down. Legends so very rarely stand up to their hype. Not so with 20,000 Days On Earth. Watching it, I was intrigued, delighted and not the least bit disillusioned; on the contrary I walked away from the theater with not only a greater understanding, but an appreciation and respect for Nicholas Edward Cave deeper than I'd realized possible.
As he himself says in the film, it was, for me, one of those rare and important moments (and I think I'm paraphrasing, here)
"when the workings of the heart change".
The film opens nation-wide on October 10th.
The song Mr. Cave might best be known for: The Mercy Seat, about a man on his way to the electric chair; from the album Tender Prey, 1988.
Some ballads, et al:
Another wonderful film and one of my faves is The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, directed by Andrew Dominik and staring Brad "Dreamboat" Pitt and Casey Affleck, with soundtrack by-- you guessed it-- N.C.
Here's Nick's cameo at the end of the film:
... And one of my top 3 favorite books of all time was written by Nick Cave:
And the Ass Saw the Angel. Below is an excerpt read by the author in 1989.
A huge bonus to 20,000 Days for me was hearing stories and seeing a photograph of the tiny cubby room in Germany where he wrote this little masterpiece. The subject matter, of course, is dark, dark, dark -- but intoxicatingly so... if you can handle it.
Hey, I'm a dark girl, what can I say?