In the same way that calling Nick Cave a “goth” artist doesn’t begin to do him justice, it would be wrong to categorize the wonderful 20,000 Days on Earth as a documentary.
Directors Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard work closely with the iconic singer-songwriter and all-round badass to deliver something more than a standard behind-the-scenes look at his art. There are carefully set-up yet unscripted encounters with the likes of former collaborators like Kylie Minogue and Ray Winstone, surreal throwaway moments that are never explained (watch for the stuffed budgies), and an extended meeting with a psychoanalyst that reveals more about Cave’s artistic motivations than any interview ever will.
20,000 Days on Earth also gets incredible access to the singer, literally starting in his bedroom as he’s waking up in the morning. All this makes for a fascinating and groundbreakingly different look at one of the greatest creative forces of our time. Just don’t call it a documentary.
20,000 Days on Earth receives a special advance screening at the Vancity Theatre on Tuesday (July 1) at 6:00 PM