playhouse---200x400---hamilton-heritage.png

20,000 Days on Earth

An aptly intense and innovative study of pioneering rock poet Nick Cave, “20,000 Days on Earth” playfully disguises itself as fiction while more than fulfilling the requirements of a biographical documentary. As if that weren’t ambitious enough, co-directors Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, who wrote the movie with Cave, add ornately detailed production design and gorgeous widescreen images to the mix. The music-filled pic won two jury awards at Sundance.

At times, “20,000 Days on Earth” comes on like a modern film noir, with the black-clad Cave as a brooding antihero spouting hardboiled narration. “Songwriting is about counterpoint,” he says in an early voiceover, “like letting a child into the same room as a Mongolian psychopath or something.” Scenes of Cave driving his car through cold and rainy Brighton on the south coast of the U.K. suggest interior fantasies, with people from his past suddenly materializing for dramatic conversations about life and art.

In place of the standard interviewer, the film has a therapist (Darian Leader), an idea so perfect it seems obvious in hindsight. The shrink’s questions — about Cave’s late father, his former status as a junkie and his earliest memory of the female body — enable the documentary to attain a psychological dimension in the purest possible manner. So, too, Cave’s visit to his archive, stuffed with old photos and notebooks, allows for the Australian artist’s 40-year history to emerge in a way that feels fresh rather than formulaic.

The film’s climactic concert footage of Cave and the Bad Seeds performing explosive renditions of “Higgs Boson Blues,” “Jubilee Street” and “Stagger Lee” at the Sydney Opera House is well timed to allow for catharsis after so much formal control and highbrow talk.

- Rob Nelson, Variety

Showtimes: 

No screenings currently scheduled.

Another U7 Solutions - Web-based solutions to everyday business problems. solution.