Killer bal­lad a Cave spe­cialty

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MOVIES - JAKE COYLE

WRIT­ING the pro­hi­bi­tion- era boot­leg­ger crime film Law­less, his sec­ond re­alised script and largest movie pro­duc­tion yet, taught Nick Cave cer­tain fun­da­men­tal lessons of Hol­ly­wood film­mak­ing.

‘‘ I learned that it’s a waste of time to graph­i­cally kill an­i­mals in scripts,’’ the Aus­tralian singer/ ac­tor says, laugh­ing. ‘‘ It’s go­ing to hit the cut­ting room floor.’’

The ed­u­ca­tion and de­vel­op­ment of Nick Cave, screen­writer, con­tin­ues with Law­less, a tale of three boot­leg­ging broth­ers ( Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Ja­son Clarke) in ru­ral 1920s Vir­ginia.

In adapt­ing Matt Bon­durant’s novel, Cave ( pic­tured) was pre­dictably moved to in­clude scenes from the book of a pig’s slaugh­ter and a dead calf’s birth, but had to set­tle for gang­ster gun­play and an omi­nous at­mos­phere alive with the con­stant threat of sud­den bru­tal­ity.

The film marks Cave’s con­tin­u­ing dal­liance with screen­writ­ing, an ‘‘ ex­tracur­ric­u­lar’’ ac­tiv­ity, he calls it, along with novel and po­etry writ­ing.

That’s in ad­di­tion to his ‘‘ No. 1 job’’ as a mu­si­cian and front­man of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and the dor­mant band Grin­der­man.

‘‘ I be­came a scriptwriter with ab­so­lutely no idea of how to write a script what­so­ever,’’ says Cave, who also wrote the 2005 Aus­tralian Out­back western, The Propo­si­tion. ‘‘ I still feel a bit of an out­sider in that re­gard.’’

Vi­o­lence has been a rich vein for Cave since he emerged in the 1980s with punk out­fit The Birthday Party. As a the­atri­cal lyri­cist of spare fa­bles, his Gothic songs of death and mean men with a ‘‘ red right hand’’ have of­ten car­ried a mur­der­ous grav­ity and nar­ra­tive bent.

Like the bloody Propo­si­tion, Law­less is an­other kind of murder bal­lad for Cave, one pop­u­lated with colourful char­ac­ters com­pelled by pri­mal urges.

‘‘ I don’t know where that comes from ex­cept that it’s a par­tic­u­lar tal­ent I have to write about that stuff,’’ says Vic­to­ri­aborn Cave, who now lives in Brighton, Eng­land, with his wife and twin sons.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.