I went to the Watershed this afternoon to see “20,000 days on earth” (directed by Iain Forsyth+Jane Pollard) – a profile of Nick Cave’s first 20,000 days on earth (note: he’s rather more than 10 years younger than me, but I forgot to make a film about my own 20,000th day)... a line in Cave's songwriting notebook calculating how many days he'd been alive inspired the film's title. I’m a bit of a Cave fan so was really looking forward to seeing the film… and then I noticed a pretty ordinary 3 star review pinned to a wall at the cinema (written by Luke Buckmaster in The Guardian) and, as a result, even vaguely contemplated giving the film a “miss”… but I didn’t.And I’m very glad I DID persevere.
It’s rather cringingly described as an “intimate access to the man himself”(!). The film will probably be given a “documentary” tag , but it’s very much more than that – in my view at least. It’s a film about Cave’s artistic processes and about the creative process in general. I particularly enjoyed Cave’s discussions with a psychoanalyst about his early years; the involvement+banter between Cave and Warren Ellis (musician/writer); and there was a fascinating “archive section” where Cave talks about his huge collection of photographs, notebooks and the like (which has given rise to the film’s digital partner project “The Museum of Important Shit”!). Crucially, again for me, the film also included footage of Cave in the studio and stage… and, ultimately, him performing with The Bad Seeds at the Sydney Opera House. This closing sequence also, very cleverly and impressively, blended archive performance footage with the Opera House concert.
Absolutely fascinating and very well put together. I really enjoyed it.