Nick Cave and his 20,000 Days on Earth

The good, the bad and the ugly seeds of King Ink's creative process

There has been much debate about Cave's authenticity - or is it pretension? - in this surreal and transcending documentary - and documentary, in its truest and most transparent form, it is surely not.

It doesn't have to be.

It all really begins from the question does an artist belong to "his" people - should he, if at all? (No). People are possessive by nature, they have to grab hold of any piece they can get. Cave seems to share big chunks of his routine (if you can call it that), without actually indulging his audience's possessive tendencies. He does it the artist's way, as an introvert: He makes it obvious that he has planned this, and he delivers another, rather casual artwork with it. The intrusive moments of him waking up next to his wife (who remains hidden behind protective waves of black hair), or coming face to face with himself in the bathroom mirror, are all choreographed. Hell, his long conversations with his psychoanalyst could only be that. But there is great accessibility in revealing the instrumental choreography of his everyday life, and, if anything, he makes you part of his bonkers artistic methods. In the end, you get in touch with what really matters in this life. [Plus, Blixa Bargeld finally spelt out why the hell he left the band. The last thing we had read about it was that he sent an email saying he's leaving, Cave commenting that "he's always been a technocrat", and we had left it at that...].
Forsythe & Pollard ©

Compliments to Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard for delivering one of the most original and creative rockumentary-type works we have ever seen, an immersive experience that, like some of the best Bad Seeds gigs, it triggers the audience to run home and scrape together some lyrics and drag over their music freak friends and bang on the piano and the drums and set the violin on fire (hopefully not torture the wife with their quirks and moods, like Cave repeatedly admits..). 20,000 Days on Earth brings together the bad, the good, and some even ugly seeds of Cave's creative puzzle - reflective, introspective, electric, explosive.

Jubilee Street wraps it all up in the most galvanizing of sonic backdrops, where a thunderous succession of Nick Cave images from the past 20,000 days flash like lightening. Your blood is pumping, your skin is sweating and your eyes are almost in tears. Only this time, you know (quite a bit more of) what lies beneath. And that is no small thing.

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