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20,000 Days on Earth (2014)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Drama, Music | 18 November 2014 (USA)
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20,000 Days on Earth is a movie starring Nick Cave, Susie Bick, and Warren Ellis. Writer and musician Nick Cave marks his 20,000th day on the planet Earth.
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 8 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Prison gangs clash in a high-tech security jail where there are no rules.

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A look at the life of a sex-addict traveling salesman who uses his door-to-door beauty products to meet women.

Directors: Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Himself
Susie Bick ... Herself (as Susie Cave)
Darian Leader ... Himself
... Himself
... Himself
... Himself
... Herself
Arthur Cave ... Himself
... Himself
Thomas Wydler ... Himself
Martyn Casey ... Himself
Conway Savage ... Himself
Jim Sclavunos ... Himself
Barry Adamson ... Himself
George Vjestica ... Himself
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Storyline

Drama and reality combine in a fictitious 24 hours in the life of musician and international cultural icon Nick Cave. With startlingly frank insights and an intimate portrayal of the artistic process, the film examines what makes us who we are, and celebrates the transformative power of the creative spirit. Written by Pulse Films

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

18 November 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

20 000 dni na Ziemi  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,879, 19 September 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$277,770, 2 January 2015
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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Nick Cave: All of our days are numbered. We can not afford to be idle. To act on a bad idea is better than to not act at all because the worth of the idea never becomes apparent until you do it. Sometimes this idea can be the smallest thing in the world; a little flame that you hunch over and cup with your hand and pray will not be extinguished by all the storm that howls about it. If you can hold on to that flame, great things can be constructed around it; things that are massive and powerful and world ...
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Crazy Credits

The credits are shown over a twilight scene of Brighton, shot from the sea. See more »

Connections

References Black Narcissus (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

Stagger Lee
Written by Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, Thomas Wydler, Blixa Bargeld, Martyn Casey (as Martyn P. Casey), Conway Savage, and Jim Sclavunos
Performed by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Published by Mute Song Ltd
Licensed courtesy of Bad Seed Ltd
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User Reviews

 
He came along this road
14 November 2014 | by See all my reviews

We open with Nick Cave in bed. Soon he's half-naked before the mirror. But this semi-staged documentary is no warts-and-all exposé. The lighting is kind to Cave's boyish body, and his voice-over is as precisely prepared as it is passionate and poetic. This rehearsed vulnerability sets the tone for how directors Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard will portray their elusive subject.

Their approach provides Cave with an appropriate level of control. Control is essential to the process of self-mythologising. Cave is aware that myth is what gives popular artists their enduring legacy. It's not dishonesty. Myth contains truth: the truth of how art (and the artist) makes us feel, the senses it triggers and the images it conjures. And what images Cave has conjured over the decades; from surreal punk, through broken Americana, through dark ballads and blaring gospel rock and a parade of delicious dirges.

The focus on the recording of Push the Sky Away means we hear very little of The Bad Seeds' earlier work. We glimpse The Birthday Party (and a very amusing vignette it is). But Cave and his myriad members have gone through various phases, and we get no sense of these because we hear nothing of them. Do not go into this film expecting a retrospective. Do not expect chronology, or even much revelation. Do not expect to bring a virginal friend and open their eyes to the strange, bleak, sentimental narratives of Brighton's finest immigrant. And yet it is a film for virtually everyone; for those harbouring an idea and a glimmer of interest in the creative method.

You'll know from the trailer that Ray Winstone and Kylie Minogue drop by for a ride in Cave's car. These scenes are more than just elaborate name-drops. They're framed as natural exchanges perhaps imagined or drawn from memory. Most moving is the conversation with ex-Bad Seed Blixa Bargeld, which has the air of some latent regret being cauterised.

Toward the beginning of the film there are a number of intense dialogues between Cave and the psychoanalyst Darian Leader. These scenes are deeply intimate and engaging, and it's a pity they fall away. It's indicative of the broader sense that 20,000 Days is truncated. Surely there's more footage. There is, surely, a three-hour edit of this movie, just as compelling and original and humorous. Yes, this is a double-edged criticism.

Elegantly shot and exquisitely edited, there's warmth in every frame of this movie, whether we're in the archives, scouring scuzzy photographs from Cave's youth, or in the pleasingly chaotic space surrounding the typewriter of dreams. Forsyth and Pollard carefully walk the line between hagiography and dehumanisation: Cave comes off as neither a fallen angel nor a mad recluse. But he does emerge an enigma. And that's okay, because that's how the man himself reckons we like our rock stars: slightly unreal, swaggering and contradictory, and bigger than God. I'm inclined to agree.


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