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A cinematic love letter, a hidden perspective of Berlin by night. Different artists unite to declare their love to the city and our time, in a re-imagination of the silent film classic 'Berlin - Symphony of a Great City'. A vision of remarkable filmmakers and renowned musicians from the electronic music scene, such as Frank Wiedemann (Ame), Modeselektor, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Gudrun Gut, Samon ... See full summary »
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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
The world abounds with concert films and other documentaries with no greater ambition than following a famous person around for a while. These films are usually easy to put in the "superfans only" category. But maybe that wouldn't be the case if they were more like 20, 000 Days on Earth. All I can say is that, as someone who has one Nick Cave album but no vast devotion to the guy, I was entertained throughout.
Part of this is simply the beauty of the images -- the directors make even the most mundane scene stun on the screen. The film takes place across one mostly ordinary day in Nick Cave's life, purportedly the 20000th, and much of the runtime is taken up by fascinating conversations Cave has with friends and collaborators. There are a lot of stagey scenes that don't hide their constructedness, such as a filmed therapy session, or a meta- cinematic moment where at the behest of the film's producers Cage goes through old pictures that will soon become part of the opening montage. And then there is the obligatory concert footage, shot in a dynamic fashion that manages to pick up all of Cave's subtle interactions with the front row and the looks of desperate adoration on the audience's faces.
All of this would be for naught if Cave wasn't a fascinating subject. He plays the brooding poet here, providing ominous narration throughout the film, but there are also humanizing scenes where he watches TV with his sons or grumpily bosses around a children's choir (one of the more surreal moments here). It may be more charisma than intellect, but damn if I couldn't listen to Nick Cave talk for days. For all the directorial skill brought to 20, 000 Days on Earth, its greatest virtue may be in simply allowing us to experience two hours of Cave.
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