FEELING, HEALING, PLAYING
When his son tragically died, Nick Cave turned to film as a means of expression. The result, showing for one night only, will give you chills
Nick Cave turned to film and music to express how he felt following his son’s death, says the director of One More Time With Feeling, Andrew Dominik.
He says Cave instigated the creation of the 3D black-andwhite feature film, which has a focus on music from a new Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album, Skeleton Tree.
Cave’s 15-year-old son Arthur died last July after falling from a cliff in England, where the family lives.
“When Nick approached me about making a film around the recording and performing of the new Bad Seeds album, I’d been seeing quite a lot of him as we rallied around him and his family at the time of his son’s death,” Dominik says.
“My immediate response was: `Why do you want to do this?’ Nick told me that he had some things he needed to say, but he didn’t know who to say them to.
“The idea of a traditional interview, he said, was simply unfeasible but that he felt a need to let the people who cared about his music understand the basic state of things. It seemed to me that he was trapped somewhere and just needed to do something ... anything – to at least give the impression of forward movement.”
The director had an ambitious plan to make the black-and-white film 3D, but the musician wasn’t on board with that idea at first.
“I took the record away and listened to it trying to work out a way into the whole thing. In the end I agreed to do it if I could shoot it in black and white and 3D. Nick’s response was: `I f***ing hate 3D’ or something like that,” he says.
Cave had taken some convincing to understand Dominik’s vision for the special project.
“I showed him old blackand-white photos viewed through a stereopticon from the 50s. I told him I wanted to make a film where these sorts of photos came slowly to life.
“I felt that the stark black and white and the haunted drama of these 3D images perfectly addressed the disembodied sound of the record and the weird sense of paralysis that Nick seemed to exist in at the time,” he said.
Dominik built a special, large and unwieldy camera to achieve the eerie effect he was ultimately after.
“No one has ever seen a 3D black-and-white non-animated feature film in modern times – for as far as I know, no such thing exists. It is both modern and from a distant age – much like the Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds new record, Skeleton Tree, actually,” he says.
It seems the finished product proved a bit difficult for Cave to watch.
“Nick came to Los Angeles and watched the film. His response was obviously conflicted. How could it not be? In the end he said: `Leave it as it is’– which we did. He said that it was obviously `made with love’ – which it was – and finally, `to make sure they see it in 3D’.” One More Time With Feeling screens globally today and Skeleton Tree will be released tomorrow
A scene from One More Time With Feeling.