Over the course of a nearly four-decade music career, Nick Cave has been one of music’s most reliably inscrutable rock stars. The forthcoming documentary 20,000 Days on Earth (in theaters September 19) does a bit to shed some light on Cave’s dark spirit, but it does it with a twist.
Although many of the day-in-the-life conversations aren’t scripted (or very loosely so), and everybody in Cave’s life—from bandmate Warren Ellis to former Bad Seed Blixa Bargeld to Kylie Minogue—plays him- or herself, a lot of the film is built on artifice. The office where Cave undergoes a therapy session, the “archive” where he goes to review old photographs—they’re all built sets and faked scenarios, and constructed to try to wring some truth out of something inherently fake.
20,000 Days on Earth splits its time between those scenes and in-the-studio footage from the sessions that led to Push the Sky Away, Cave’s 2013 record with the Bad Seeds. It’s a remarkable movie, existing in the unique dimension between fiction and reality straddled by filmmaking greats like Werner Herzog and Errol Morris: READ FULL STORY