Nick Cave will be the star of a new semi-fictional documentary dubbed 20,000 Days on Earth. The feature-length film was conceived and directed by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard (the pair behind 2008’s “Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!” video) and will feature appearances from actor Ray Winstone (The Departed, The Proposition), fellow Aussie star Kylie Minogue, and Cave’s Bad Seeds/Grinderman collaborator Warren Ellis, according to The Guardian.
The process began while the post-punk legend was conceiving February’s Push the Sky Away. “They filmed everything,” Cave said. “They had a camera set up in my office when I’m just writing the first lines of things, picking out the first melodies on the piano. That’s kind of why I let this go … because you just don’t have cameras on bands doing the actual thing … You [usually] get shots of people sitting around in the control booth, listening to music.”
Although the movie will include that footage, 20,000 Days purports to take place within a 24-hour period with the title referring to the number of days its subject has been alive. The cameras follow Cave as he has lunch with Ellis, sits in with a head-shrinker, peruses the actual Nick Cave archive, and watches Scarface with his 12-year-old sons Arthur and Earl. Some of the scenarios were prompted by the filmmakers, others came naturally.
Meanwhile the in-between moments find Cave in his car, where Winstone and Minogue appear as realized outcroppings of his imagination, leading to conversations that both reflect on his career and range into more casual commentary, such as the superiority of Australia’s fish and chips over that of England. “Contemporary music docs [are about] taking away the mask,” said Forsyth. “The important thing for us was not breaking the mythology.”