Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The Old Market (Upper Market Street, Hove) on Monday 21st May: 20,000 Days on Earth (2014) at 7pm, and One More Time with Feeling (2016) at 9pm. The venue offers cutting-edge cinematic facilities, with superlative screen and sound capabilities. TOM’s Film Club screenings also give cinemagoers a chance to chat about the films watched after the credits roll, in the venue’s bar – a treat for any movie buff passionate about the medium.

From a young age, Nick Cave had been exposed to macabre and gothic subjects both in fiction and reality. His early work with The Birthday Party, conceived while still in Australia (his country of birth) chaotically reflected the themes of violence, religion and sex, in their distorted punk symphonies, which continued to occupy Cave’s conceptual output for decades – often with playful irony and structured humour attached. 

The sleazy, fragmented avant-gardism of The Birthday Party bled into his compositions with the Bad Seeds in later years, but his sound evolved into something smoother, more melodic – more seductively menacing. Cave’s image has been instrumental in his mythologisation as an artist; Bleddyn Butcher’s photographic portraits captured the essence of his dark, charismatic intensity, and live on with a strong legacy of the representation of the underground music scenes of the 80s and beyond.

Cave’s film work to date is suitably Stygian in places, consciously poetic and fittingly experimental. The biographical docudrama, 20,000 Days on Earth (directed by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard), written around the subject of Cave’s everyday life and creative processes, is a phenomenally shot portrait of an artist – dramatised, but saturated with his vivid and deep reality. His relationship with Brighton (corporeal or otherwise), and the city’s aesthetics, factors highly in the cinematographic effectiveness of the feature, as does its (naturally) rich accompanying score.

Slightly more haunting in thematic content, with regards to the untimely passing of Cave’s son prior to the making of the film, is One More Time With Feeling (directed by Andrew Dominik): a sincere and satisfactorily orthodox music documentary covering the period of recording for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ 2016 album, Skeleton Tree. Shot entirely in black-and-white, featuring abstract philosophical narration from Cave and vivid musical performances, the film makes for a phenomenally pensive and affecting cinematic experience.

Tickets for the double-bill are currently bookable online, at The Old Market’s box office (open Monday to Friday, 1-5pm) or via phone. Bundle offers and season passes are also available for TOM’s Film Club screenings.

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