If you know anything about Australian singer-songwriter Nick Cave, it's probably that he's a little, well, weird. That's why it's really no surprise that a documentary made about him would be out of the ordinary format as well. The film 20,000 Days on Earth melds live concert footage with scripted scenes to give a realistic, though not necessarily true, peak into the life of the elusive composer as he made his album Push the Sky Away in 2013.
Writers and directors Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard took a gamble with their first film and with two Sundance Film Festival wins (one for documentary directing and the other for documentary editing) it seems the gamble paid off.
The unique fictionalized biopic of a day in Nick Cave's life isn't quite a live concert movie, though there are plenty of shots of Cave performing. It's also not fully a drama, though it centers around scripted performances from Cave (who helped co-write the script with the directors), his friend and fellow musician Warren Ellis, singer Kylie Minogue (whom he collaborated with on the song "Where the Wild Roses Grow"), and actor Ray Winstone.
Cave told NPR's Morning Edition about the decision to go for a dramatic representation of his creative process, rather than a more straightforward documentary.
"The idea was that we create a day that appears to be a real day but that's obviously fictional, and that all the things that happened within that day are obviously fictional, but within that some kind of greater truth could be told. That was the basic premise of it," he said.
You can see for yourself if that greater truth comes through when 20,000 Days on Earth screens at FilmBar beginning on Friday, October 24 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets and a complete list of screenings are available on the FilmBar website.
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