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20,000 Days on Earth [Blu-ray]

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Product details

  • Actors: Nick Cave
  • Directors: Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Channel 4 DVD
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Oct. 2014
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00LX7VSP0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,089 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


"I had very high expectations of the film, and it met or exceeded them all. Just fabulous!"--Radio Times
Absolutely, completely loved it."--Danny Leigh - Film 2014
"I LOVED it. It was beautiful and inspiring and funny."--Guardian
"Enthralling, provocative and... surprisingly moving"--Evening Standard
"Incredible. Puts most music films to shame. So inventive and inspiring"--Time Out
"Simply astounding, razor sharp, dynamic"--Variety

20,000 Days on Earth
is a bold and unique look at one of music's most mysterious and charismatic figures, the iconic musician and writer Nick Cave. Defying traditional rock documentary aesthetics, directors Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard push the genre to unexplored territory, presenting a vision of an artist in a way that is unconventional yet undeniably intimate, while also exploring more universal themes of creativity and how we choose to spend our time on the Earth. It ruthlessly deconstructs two very different artforms, music and documentary, yet takes nothing away from the everyday reality or magic of its main subject. The film presents Cave's personal analysis of his own life and creative processes. He shares humorous tales of times past with bandmate and frequent collaborator Warren Ellis, and engages in enlightening discussion with those who have affected his life both professionally and personally, including former Bad Seed Blixa Bargeld, actor friend Ray Winstone, and perhaps most notably Kylie Minogue, with whom Cave collaborated on his breakout hit Where the Wild Roses Grow in 1995. These segments are presented in an almost daydream-like form, as Cave sits behind the wheel reflecting on his experiences while driving through his adopted home town of Brighton.

Special Features

Over 45 minutes of extra material including:
* The Making of 20,000 Days on Earth
* Trailer
* Bonus scenes:
- Outtake: Nick and Kylie performing Where the Wild Roses Grow at Koko in London
- Outtake: Nick and Ray Winstone talking about fish and chips
- Outtake: The Archive - Words and making lists
- Outtake: The Archive - Statue and Australia's big things
- Outtake: The Archive - Sending reviews to mother
- Outtake: Rehearsal - song Your Funeral My Trial
- Outtake: Rehearsal - song Stranger Than Kindness
- Outtake: The Interview - talking to Darian Leader about Blixa Bargeld
- Outtake: The Interview - taking to Darian Leader about words
- Outtake: The Interview - talking to Darian Leader about entering other worlds
- Outtake: Nick and the band recording backing vocals in the studio
- Outtake: Warren Ellis playing violin on Jubilee Street in the studio
- Outtake: Nick and band demoing song in Brighton ('See That Girl...')

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By nigeyb on 19 Feb. 2015
Format: DVD
I’ve finally got round to viewing my DVD of “20,000 Days on Earth”, the fictionalised documentary of Nick Cave. What a treat. I love Nick Cave. I live in Brighton and Hove. And this film is a beautiful and beguiling opportunity to enter Nick’s world, or at least a version of it.

Watching one of the DVD extras, the obligatory “Making of…”, I was surprised just how much artifice was involved in the film and yet, and call me naive, the film gets to the heart of Nick’s art more than any vérité doc could ever hope.

The film opens with Nick’s alarm clock whilst he lies in bed prior to getting up, and thence through various encounters: a wonderful, revealing therapy session; lunch with Warren Ellis; discussions with those responsible for his “archive”; rehearsals; and touching, interesting discussions in a Jaguar as he drives round Brighton with, variously, Blixa Bargeld, Ray Winstone, and Kylie Minogue. We also get some concert footage and, towards the end, most amusingly Nick and his twin children watching “Scarface” and scoffing Pizza.

Throughout these scenes we find out about Nick’s parents, his childhood, his life in Berlin, the Birthday Party, how he creates, his relationships, his family, how he feels about Brighton, how he collaborates, his hopes and fear, and much more. It packs an incredible amount into it’s c90 minute running time.

What, in other hands, could have been pretentious tosh is actually something very special indeed. During the “Making of…” extra, Jane Pollard mentions that one of their objectives was to inspire the viewer to follow through with creative projects. Something at which Nick, the consummate professional, is adept. She has succeeded. It’s wonderfully inspiring and entertaining. I will be going back for another view soon.
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Format: Blu-ray
For anyone that wanted a documentary all about the cult musician Nick Cave, you may want to approach this pseudo-documentary, 20000 Days on Earth, with a pinch of salt. Whilst the film features plenty of nuggets of wisdom from Cave, and from his collaborators including Kylie Minogue and Warren Ellis, this film deals with its subject matter in a somewhat organic manner. With some back story here, a performance there, and a few tall tales thrown in for some of that too-good-to-be-true content, then this film becomes a sampler into the 'world' of Nick Cave, rather then a conventional biography about him. In a way, this is a good approach to tackle the well-tread route about a musician's rags-to-riches cliché, which from watching this would not do justice to Nick Cave's life story. Nevertheless, if you take into account the crop of contemporary documentaries, tackling its subject matter from a unique angle (Searching for Sugar Man; Exit Through the Gift Shop), and then you can understand why Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard have presented this information about him in such a creative and unconventional manner.

For die-hard fans of Nick Cave, there should be some solid performances of his songs to keep you happy. In addition, for complete novices to its subject matter, then you will experience an audio-visual escapade giving you an impression of Cave's work. As a documentary, its unconventional manner may make the pacing challenging at time, but you can enjoy the film as a film with plenty of substance and content for you to chew- just do not expect to get a full-picture about Nick Cave's work after you have seen it.

20000 Days on Earth is a rather organic oddity that works well for its subject matter, and should appeal to those interested in learning more about Nick Cave, to those that knew very little about this acclaimed musician and its collaborators.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rob Simpson on 4 Nov. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Quasi-documentary, pseudo-fiction, 20,000 days on Earth is both and neither. Something that is hard to pin down because its gorgeously shot in a way few docs are, and much of the narrative is poetic exaggeration. Perhaps it helps if you are a fan of the great showman, as a signed up fan I cannot comment for the other side of the fence. While undoubtedly a little pretentious, Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard's film is profound, moving, inspirational and funny. Now whether everything Nick Cave says is true is irrelevant, the film works on a much purer level on the back of his eloquent magnetism. Shot during the making of the Push the Sky Away record, the film also incorporates some sensational performances (Higgs Boson Blues) capturing the power of what Nick Cave says about performing. Editing is a striking achievement of the doc, two sequences stand out with this. The first sees Cave describe the moment he meets his wife for the first time and the second sees a stage performance span decades to the beat of the music. Its amazing stuff to behold, documentary or no, fiction film or no. A special film way more dramatic and absorbing than your garden variety rock biopic, but perhaps a step too far for the non-cave fan.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Lister on 18 Sept. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
We open with Nick Cave in bed. Soon he's half-naked before the mirror. But this semi-staged documentary is no warts-and-all exposé. The lighting is kind to Cave's boyish body, and his voiceover is as precisely prepared as it is passionate and poetic. This rehearsed vulnerability sets the tone for how directors Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard will portray their elusive subject.

Their approach provides Cave with an appropriate level of control. Control is essential to the process of self-mythologising. Cave is aware that myth is what gives popular artists their enduring legacy. It's not dishonesty. Myth contains truth: the truth of how art (and the artist) makes us feel, the senses it triggers and the images it conjures. And what images Cave has conjured over the decades; from surreal punk, through broken Americana, through dark ballads and blaring gospel rock and a parade of delicious dirges.

The focus on the recording of Push the Sky Away means we hear very little of The Bad Seeds' earlier work. We glimpse The Birthday Party (and a very amusing vignette it is). But Cave and his myriad members have gone through various phases, and we get no sense of these because we hear nothing of them. Do not go into this film expecting a retrospective. Do not expect chronology, or even much revelation. Do not expect to bring a virginal friend and open their eyes to the strange, bleak, sentimental narratives of Brighton's finest immigrant. And yet it is a film for virtually everyone; for those harbouring an idea and a glimmer of interest in the creative method.

You'll know from the trailer that Ray Winstone and Kylie Minogue drop by for a ride in Cave's car. These scenes are more than just elaborate name-drops.
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