peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2016 05 09 20000DaysOnEarth

20,000 Days on Earth

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Nick Cave's job is to make this into something more than an ego project, and unfortunately he fails. Oftentimes he sounds like he wished he was Don Walker (one lyric goes "Flame trees line the streets") but he never smoked enough. That he is stuck on the surface is clear from the voiced ontro, where he talks about the truth as something that emerges, pushing through his veneer rather than revealed by it. (I always thought his schtick was more for effect than truth.) His motifs remain the childhood Goth classics, the God versus the Devil kind of thing that has recently yielded up Batman v Superman and not Tom Waits. I'm sure they're brewing up the next Nick Cave in rural Victoria even as I type this.

... and yes, I know he did write at least one timeless track.

The film is beautifully shot but stuffed with fakery (see the IMDB comments for examples). I came away wondering what he was trying to get at, and why he didn't say it with a tune.

Stephen Holden.