Director: Andrew Dominik
This is movie puts in the spotlight Nick Cave, a man who is struggling in every sense of the word.
Shot in black and white in shaky 3D the movie reminds me a lot of Eat the Document and Don’t Look Back. Ramshackle editing (was there any editing) in and out of focus it pretty much records anything and everything over a period. Footage of Nick and Warren Ellis trying to eke out or resurrect fragments of songs,in a cab, in his house. Stuff with his wife Susie and their surviving son,Earl.
The director is a friend and they worked on the Assassination of Jesse James movie. He asks some direct questions and Nick responds far less abruptly than I’d have expected. But then,as he says, I woke up a different person. The world is the same but my place in it has changed”. Later he says that he used to know how he will respond to certain stimuli/situations but now he has no idea. The early close-up shots , black and white and 3D on this hollow face with big dark bags under his eyes..”what happened to my face”… “those big bags weren’t there a year ago..”
I guess a lot of us wondered how he would be affected creatively. Post Sara Dylan did Blood on the Tracks and Cave acknowledges the role of events in stimulating the creative muse but in the case of trauma, such massive trauma as the unexpected accidental death of an adolescent child, “there is no room for anything else” ….”it’s extremely damaging to the creative process.
Getting back to “work” seems more like therapy than the need to express himself. Not once does he talk about the music or the songs in a positive sense, it all seems a grind. Warren Ellis leads the way “I don’t know what I’d do without Warren” says Nick. He has his words and Warren is trying to find something to hang off them. Much as I like Warren Ellis and his other band the Dirty Three there is a sameness in their musical collaborations these days. Too many strings, too many portentous soundtrack themes. I wasn’t a fan of the last Seeds album and I don’t expect this album to be much good. There don’t seem to be many songs and Nick’s lyrics are getting overly wordy and fruity. I’d imagine a creative writing teacher just going through them with the red pen. But to cut him some slack and Lord knows he deserves it, he is just not in the frame of mind to bother honing and refining.
It’s long , it’s draining, it’s indulgent, it’s remarkable.
Might appeal to people who enjoyed:
Unless you are someone who is interested in how people cope with grief and trauma then , to find this movie interesting, you’d have to be a Nick Cave fan.