20,000 Days on Earth – Film Preview


For years now, people have wanted to see a film of the life of Nick Cave.  This is the story of him with a different edge to the normal average bio flix.

“I wake, I write, I eat,  I watch TV – this is my 20,000th day on earth”

This is the debut feature by directors Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard. They fuse drama and documentary styles together with a weaving together of a cinematically staged day in Cave’s life in a look at his full creative cycle. Both directors were happy with the start of the original shoot and built it upon Nick Cave’s desire for the film to not be a straight bio flick – to be something different.

The film delves deep into his artistic processes and looking at the things that make him tick.

The fictional day involved meeting those who have been deeply involved  and affected his life,  personally and professionally, including:

  • Warren Ellis (Regular collabrator and “epic beard-wearer”)
  • Ray Winstone (Actor and Friend)
  • Kylie Minogue (Duetted with Cave in “Where the Wild Roses Grow”)

We see these people in his car in a recreated dream-like sequence with Cave driving through his adopted hometown of Brighton, England.

“Do you love performing still?”


The film has a blend of great performance and great storytelling with basic emotional truths at the forefront.  This is not the average music documentary or concert film, but this does contain songs. The film follows a song from a tiny idea sketched out by Cave in his office to an epic performance at the Sydney Opera House.  The song  created was “Push the Sky Away”.

Cave challenges himself by opening his mind up to a psychoanalyst, discussing his early years and how they have affected his work – then to look at events in his life.

The film is very “Nick Cave”.  It holds his frankness and wry humour that has follows him through all his work. It pushes boundaries to form a new territory, to explore big themes and to show off the creative mind and the creative spirit. Nick’s music is shown from rehearsals to live performances. It offers that difference in staging.




“What do you fear the most?”

The agreement to be different, meant both the director and Nick Cave were tested.  The film plays on Nick and him not being the normal everyday actor. He had to stand in front of a mirror looking at him self – this made him uncomfortable. With his creative control, he could take out  what he did not  like anyway – so he went with the flow of the film.

“Memory is what we are”

The film brings to the forefront the fears of growing old and the idea of losing memory.

This is not a mainstream film but it is a film that music lovers will love.  This is a labour of love from the two directors and the lead – Nick Cave who put forward different ideas and it gels well together.



About Author

Assistant Editor for Erisea. Lover of all things Geeky and otherwise. Feel free to say hello - @Dresdenfalls

1 Comment

  1. Sorry for the huge review, but I’m really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

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