August 15, 2022

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“This Much I Know to Be True” review, a musical and spiritual experience with Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

The collaboration between poet genius Nick Cave and multi-instrumental octopus Warren Ellis is a gift to humanity that transcends music and in his new documentary “That’s what I really know”Australian director Andrew Dominic proves it in a stunning cinematic and spiritual show.

Filmed in an abandoned factory in Bristol during the spring of 2021, this documentary film The music shows us how Kev and Ellis performed from 12 songs belonging to the latest albums “Gustin” and “Carnegie”. But photography is not traditional.

If you’ve never heard of Nick Cave, his music, or his ideas, the first few minutes of “This Much I Know to Be True” make for a great introduction. During isolation due to the pandemic, he decides how to train as a potter and now presents Dominic with a collection of his own sculptures that represent the story of Satan: his birth, war, misdeeds, affliction and remorse, culminating in a powerful figurine that represents forgiveness. Featuring a hint of dry humor, these minutes are perfect for illustrating Cave’s wit, personality, and artistic sensibilities, as well as savoring the themes of the music we’re about to hear.

With the help of Robbie Ryan’s hypnotic photography, Dominik takes a stark setting and transforms it into an intimate canvas whose minimalism creates an emotional atmosphere perfect for plunging us deep into the lyrical cave. The puppets surround the performers, the aspect ratio changes, the editing reveals new elements of the musical, the dynamism of the cameras pumps energy, and the lights harmonize with rhythms and poems to create moments of pure poetry. Each act is an audiovisual feast that does not distract from the content of the songs themselves.

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The predecessor of this movie is “One more time with feeling”, a documentary film recorded in 2016 after the death of Nick’s son Arthur. Accompanied by the music for the “Skeleton Tree” album, this project was a related meditation on the tragedy of mourning in a more traditional behind-the-scenes documentary format. The song “This Much I Know to Be True” acts like a concert in which the gloom and loneliness still exists, but there is hope, too.

Unlike the “skeleton tree”; The “Ghosteen” album was written entirely after Arthur’s death and its themes of death and existentialism are heavily damaged in every interpretation, but beyond the pain, here we find an acceptance that later developed into calls for love and hope for “Carnaage.” And although this latest album was released in 2021 against a pandemic backdrop, the messages of his songs – “White Elephant” in particular – remain relevant, not only because of COVID-19’s resistance to disappearance, but also because of the seriousness and prominent spread of the hate virus. Fear and prejudice.

In addition to the songs, there are a few behind-the-scenes moments where Cave and Ellis think about their collaboration, as well as thoughts on red hand files, a correspondence page in which Kev answers his fans’ questions, some of which have complex philosophical levels. These moments are added to the atmosphere of everyday life in the film to create an honest and emotional product; Dominic appears in the directing frame and sometimes we hear him giving orders or talking to the artists; We also see photographers taking themselves in the middle Offers.

The cave is majestic and mysterious, and Ellis, with his long gray beard and ringed hands, is a star that exudes softly. Both characters combine with the lyrical wisdom and great vocal orgies of their voices and instruments, as well as Dominic’s cinematic charm, to create an experience where we can appreciate the performers not only performing, but also live music. And we live with them.

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Premiere of “This Is What I Know To Be Real” Moby July 8.