There has been a glut of music documentaries in cinemas over the last couple of years. This picture, based on a fictionalised account of the Australian singer Nick Cave’s 20,000th day on earth is, in many ways, the most ambitious.
There is the expected live performance footage and scenes of Cave recording and practicing with his band The Bad Seeds. More unusually, we see Cave examining artifacts in an archive dedicated to himself and having imaginary conversations with famous people who have played a significant part in his career (such as Ray Winstone and Kylie Minogue) whilst he drives through rain swept Brighton streets. It is, for the most part, challenging and engrossing.
Cave has a strong screen presence, as you would expect from an experienced and admired stage performer, so it is interesting spending time with him and finding out about his creative process. The scenes in the archive and those of him recording with his band were particularly good. The stand out moments, though, were of him talking to psychoanalyst Darian Leader. Edited from 10 hours of conversation, I could have watched a whole film just of their session, although it would not have been very cinematic!
I have always appreciated his music, whilst not considering myself a fan, so I was a lot less enthralled by the last section of the film, which largely concentrates on a gig in Sydney. The music is fine, but it didn’t have the affect on that, for example, the final live section of Stone Roses: Made of Stone did last year. So, I felt like the film fizzled out, leaving me overall a little unsatisfied.
Rating: 6 out of 10