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20,000 Days On Earth

Delving into Nick Cave’s artistic processes, 20,000 DAYS ON EARTH takes us deep into the heart of how myth, memory, love and loss shape our lives, every single day. Fusing drama and documentary this film is a beautiful ode to the artistic process and an intimate portrayal of one musician’s creative journey.

Director: Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard
Year: 2014
Time: 97 min

 20,000 Days on Earth
(2014) on IMDb

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North America: Vimeo
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Share this film. Consider hosting a screening and following discussion with friends and family.

Watch Do You Love Me Like I Love You, a 14-part series of short films by co-directors Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, intended to accompany the reissue of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds back catalogue.

Learn more about the work of co-directors Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, who are pioneers in the field of reenactment within contemporary visual art.

Shine a light on a small idea you have, allowing it a chance at life, rather than harboring it in the darkness of your mind. As Cave states, “To act on a bad idea is better than to not act at all.”

Read up on Mick Harvey, Warren Ellis, and Blixa Bargeld, three long-term collaborators of Nick Cave’s, who have all had great impact on Cave’s creative output.

Related Articles and Resources

Interview With The Directors

Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard met over 20 years ago at Goldsmiths College, where their hackles were raised by the success of Damien Hirst and the wave of would-be successors. Empty conceptualism ticked them off, but the musical scene at the time made an immediate emotional connection. The strength of the bands they saw inspired them to want to make art that would make an emotional impact immediately…

Read the full article and interview here.

Warren Ellis Discusses Script vs Improv on 20,000 Days on Earth

“There was no scripting. Nick and I sat down in the house and we just started talking for an hour – like we would….”

Watch the video on Youtube.

I Am the Real Nick Cave

“’As far as work goes, I’m something of a megalomaniac,’ Cave told me later that day”

Read the full article on the New York Times.


Listen to our playlist with music from the film on Spotify.

35 Music Documentaries

“This week, the latest music documentary – One Direction: This is Us – hits theaters. Director Morgan Spurlock spent three months on tour with the guys, whirling from Japan to Norway to Mexico, but doesn’t seem to have asked them a single question besides, ‘How does it feel to be really, really popular?’ Instead, he lumps them together like a box of chicken nuggets. As an antidote, we present this collection of 35 music documentaries that are worth seeing.”

Explore the list on the Village Voice.

20,000 Days On Earth: A New Era For Music Documentaries

“The standard rock doc has grown tired and stale. But new films like Nick Cave’s 20,000 Days on Earth are breathing fresh air into the genre” writes Emma Jones.

Read the full article on BBC Culture. 

What is Counterpoint?

Anthony Tommasini, the chief classical music critic of The New York Times, explains an important musical technique.

Watch the video here.

Where Have All the Muses Gone?

“Whatever happened to the Muse? She was once the female figure – deity, Platonic ideal, mistress, lover, wife – whom poets and painters called upon for inspiration. For hundreds of years, in one form or another, the Muse’s blessing and support were often essential to the creation of art.”

Read the full article on the Wall Street Journal. 

What Our Memories Tell Us About Ourselves

“The popular perception of memory shows a considerable lag with the new scientific consensus. The psychologists Daniel J. Simons and Christopher Chabris have conducted two large-scale surveys showing that roughly half of respondents thought that memory works like a video recorder. And although many people do recognize that their memories are fallible, there is much less understanding of precisely how and why they fail us.”

Continue reading here.


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