20,000 Days on Earth

| November 18, 2014

20,000 Days on Earth is one of the best films to come out in 2014 and is one of the most invigorating documentaries ever crafted. Part fiction, part non-fiction, part behind the scenes of recording an album, directors Iain Forsythe and Jane Pollard explore all of these different elements with Nick Cave, lead singer of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Australian rock icon. Through these different set ups, Cave explores what it means to be a creative person, as we see him write and speak about the process. How every element of one’s being becomes dedicated to the art of crafting something. Whether its reflecting from places of memory or nostalgia, Cave iterates and personifies what it means to be a singer, an icon and overall, a storyteller in the 21st Century.

What makes 20,000 Days on Earth so fascinating is how the film manages to paint a raw portrait of a person, but does so through many staged settings. There are plenty of times where its too obvious and too beautiful of a shot for it to be a coincidence, but Cave begins to illustrate key moments and points in his life, that he’s drawn from for inspiration. The editing from Jonathan Amos (Scott Pilgrim vs The World) helps weave together all of these different elements for almost a stream of consciousness like film and narrative, that majorly influences how Cave’s word’s and the images are to resonate with the viewer. The images provided by cinematographer Erik Wilson are nothing short breathtaking and help reinforces the humanity and the iconography that Nick Cave embodies throughout the film.

The Blu-Ray disc of 20,000 Days on Earth from Cinedigm and Drafthouse films is light on the extras, but provide so much richness in its video and audio presentation. The video on the disc is presented in an AVC encoded, 1080p transfer, with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1. Like I’ve said before, the cinematography by Erik Wilson is incredible and is truly shown in its full splendor in this HD transfer. Colors are rich in vibrant and the transfer is full of flourish and detail. The audio only audio track on the disc is an English DTS-Master Audio 5.1 mix, that delivers the goods. Full of great dynamics and fidelity, the mix is just as strong as the crystal clear transfer and helps immerse the audience into the world that Forsythe and Pollard create with Cave. There’s a 15 minute making of 20,000 Days on Earth that explores how the project got started and the creative decisions that went into crafting the film. There are also trailers for a few other Drafthouse Films and a digital HD copy of both the film, the behind the scenes and the trailer for 20,000 Days.

The complex and intimate portrait that 20,000 Days on Earth paints for Nick Cave and what it means to be a creative force in this day and age is a remarkable one. Iain Forsythe and Jane Pollard have made something completely unique and unforgettable in this creative work of art and I implore anyone that loves the documentary form, music or just art in general, to seek out one of the strongest films that 2014 has to offer. Highly Recommended! 

About the Author:

is a graduate from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Audio for Visual Media. He works as a freelance location sound mixer, boom operator, sound designer, and writer in his native Chicago. He's an avid collector of films, comics, and anime.
Filed in: Video and DVD

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