Film Archive

20,000 Days on Earth (2014)


“One day I will let you know how to slay the dragon” Nick Cave

Directors: Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard

Writers: Nick Cave, Iain ForsythJane Pollard

I had the privilege of watching “20,000 Days on Earth” last Sunday with a friend. I was never a Nick Cave follower, I admit, but this film exposed a different side of him, I guess to me and everyone else sitting in the theater. I rather saw a different person than I had imagined him to be. The son, the father, the lover, the friend, the wild child, the artist. I floated through his melodic lyrics and there’s no doubt the man is a fuckin’ genius.

As I shamefully missed the first 30 min’ of the film as I was stuck on the subway (no excuse, I know!), I could not really share the beginning with you, but heard it was amazing. So, do share if you get a chance to watch it, please. The part I barged in on was the middle of the interview with psychoanalyst Darian Leader, when Nick sadly talked about the loss of his father, the corner stone of the family. Then and there he seemed to be lost for words when the interviewer moved on to the next question, realizing the complexity of the subject. I believe there was a tear shedding which kind of broke my heart. Sadness kind of floated around the theater. It was strongly felt.


The entire film was basically a day in the life of Nick Cave from early sunrise to late night crazy performance. Throughout the day Nick hosts passenger friends and colleagues in his car ride when both engaging in worldly conversations about all sorts. My favorite one was with Kylie Minogue, a good friend with whom Nick also duetted in one of the greatest songs ever written and performed, “Where the Wild Roses Grow”.  Kylie sitting in the back seat while the conversation is set only through the rear-view mirror. I remember them talking on how Kylie felt seeing Nick performing and also mentioning INXS‘s Michael Hutchence in their brief conversation, as you might remember the hot romance between Hutchence and Minogue, and the fact that he had written “suicidal Blonde” after her. The relationship between Cave and Minogue goes long back and you can definitely see that on that short scene.


Nick profoundly exhaled lyrics and melodies in the film mostly taken from his 2013 album Push the Sky Away, leaving every single viewer mouth opened and dripping with admiration for this Aussie legend.  


“20,000 Days on Earth” premiered in 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and also served the opening night at 2014 Sydney Film Festival.

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