20,000 Days On Earth-Review-NZIFF

Published on: July 19, 2014

Filled Under: Film, NZIFF, What's On

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If you are looking to watch the coolest flick at New Zealand International Film Festival, then 20,000 Days On Earth is the one.

The film, starring Australian musician Nick Cave, is a surprisingly amusing but stylish look at his life, career and reflection of what it means to be a performer and artist. Played out as a day in the life of Nick Cave, we see him visit friends, a therapist and his personal archive. We follow him as he voices startlingly clever monologues while driving around his home, the often stormy British seaside town of Brighton.

The cameos from Ray Winston and Kylie Minogue act like little amuse-bouches within the film, while creativity and performance is explored. Nick’s wit is peppered throughout, and I was genuinely put at ease by his ability to make the audience laugh so unexpectedly. There is also an exposed vulnerability, as anxieties and memories are explored. A scene where he divulges how his mind reacted to the first sighting of his wife was a creative and surreal highlight.

Oh and the music, you can’t forget the music. We are treated to the whole creative song writing process as Nick and The Bad Seeds  rehearse and record. I real treat both aurally and visually.

Once you see the scenes of  Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds performing live, you witness how all 20,000 days on Earth have culminated to have created this sub culture hero. The concert footage is not only beautifully shot, but it shows how this enigmatic performer is the puppeteer of his audience. They are hanging on his every word, as I have been since Nick got out of bed that day.

It’s mysterious and odd at times, making it all the more intriguing. All the while it is so pleasurable. Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard have created an inspiring film from the most refreshing of perspectives. Wonderful. It’s abstract and adorable on every level.

20,000 Days on Earth will show again in Auckland 22 July and further days during the other locations of the festival.

Reviewed by Ingrid Grenar

5 stars small