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20,000 Days on Earth 20,000 Days on Earth

Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard / United Kingdom / 2014 / 97 min / English

The 20,000th day in the life of Nick Cave – from the sound of his alarm clock in the morning to a nocturnal stroll along the beach after a gig.

In their cinematic debut, British filmmaking duo Jane Pollard and Iain Forsyth capture the life story of the renowned Australian musician, Nick Cave, in one fictional day. The narrative delves into Cave’s worldview and the philosophy that he applies to his songwriting. Dramatised scenes depict a conversation with a therapist about his childhood. Fellow musicians like Blixa Bargeld and Kylie Minogue reminisce with Cave about their collaborations. The alternation of dramatised and documentary footage blurs the boundaries between fiction and reality, private and public. Rather than a classic documentary, 20,000 Days on Earth is a poetic portrait of a restless creativity.

»None of us really liked the traditional form of music documentary. The idea that if you see Bono washing the dishes and taking the kids to school, that somehow there’s a ‘truth’ you’re learning about the artist. What we all felt was that if a rock star is any good, then they become the thing they’ve created.«
-Iain Forsyth

Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard
Iain Forsyth was born in Manchester, in 1973, and Jane Pollard in Newcastle, in 1972. Having studied at the Goldsmiths College in London between 1992 and 1995, the artists have been working together ever since. They asserted themselves with a live performance entitled A Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide, which was based on David Bowie’s legendary Ziggy Stardust character. Together, Forsyth and Pollard have also made a number of shorts.


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