For those who know his music, Aussie rocker, songwriter, author, screenwriter, composer, actor, and Bad Seed, Nick Cave, needs no introduction. For those who don’t, the preceding string of nouns should give you some inkling of the man’s breadth of talent. ARIA Awards committee chairman Ed St John called Cave, “…an Australian artist like Sidney Nolan is an Australian artist–beyond comparison, beyond genre, beyond dispute,” and he certainly has the dedicated fan following, as well as an almost four decade creative output, to prove it. Now, following the release of last year’s new album, Push the Sky Away, Cave is the subject of 20,000 Days on Earth, a film that blends documentary essay and cinematic fiction.
Premiering at the Berlin International Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year where the film won two awards– both the Editing and Directing Awards in World Cinema Documentary–the film, directed by artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, portrays a fictionalised day in the life of Nick Cave, his 20,000th day on earth. Filled with improvised scenes, we follow Cave at work in his office; driving Ray Winstone through Brighton as he discusses the superiority of Aussie fish’n’chips over British ones; and visiting his psychoanalyst. Forsyth and Pollard have created a film that takes us inside Cave’s artistic process, capturing the life story of the creative renaissance man from his early years as Melbourne enfant terrible with his punk band The Birthday Party to today, with documentary footage in rehearsal rooms and recording studios, and interviews with fellow musicians and collaborators like former Bad Seed guitarist Blixa Bargeld and Kylie Minogue.
The film will be released internationally later this year. A must see for fans, who like me have probably misspent their teenage years stalking Cave through St Kilda. Below is a sneak peek.