FunAstrologyPremiere at the Berlinale - Nick Cave in the...

Premiere at the Berlinale – Nick Cave in the studio

The Australian musician, writer, screenwriter and actor Nick Cave is an old hand at the Berlinale. This year, however, he has a different focus.

Berlin – Nick Cave and the Berlinale have a long history. The Australian musician, writer, screenwriter and actor has been at the Berlin Festival in recent years with numerous films by, with or about him. This time his music is the center of attention.

“This Much I Know To Be True” shows him with his congenial musical partner Warren Ellis during the interpretation of the joint albums “Ghosteen” and “Carnage”. The film, which Cage says is also an alternative to the pandemic-related absence from the stage, celebrated its premiere on Saturday during the Berlinale.

„This Much I Know To Be True“


Atmospheric: A scene from the film This Much I Know To Be True.

At the beginning of the film, Cave takes the team to a workshop. There he shows porcelain figures he designed, which tell a story of the devil’s career in 18 episodes. This is also a reference to religious references, which repeatedly play a role in Cave’s music.

Director Andrew Dominik has worked with Cave on several occasions. In “This Much I Know To Be True” he lets Cave and Ellis develop their musical fantasies largely in the dark of a grand old hall. Among other things, the duo acts with a few singers, whom Ellis repeatedly guides in a mixture of grand gestures and heartfelt devotion. A small string ensemble joins in occasionally, a percussionist. Dominik leaves the scenery largely empty: a couple of spotlights, Cave’s wings, a round track for the camera car.

Intense moment with Marianne Faithfull

One of the many intense moments in the film is shaped by Marianne Faithfull. The singer, marked by illness and weakness, speaks a text for Cave. To do this, the 75-year-old first has to remove the apparatus that supplies her with oxygen. Ellis immediately samples her distinctive voice into a basis for his sound collage of the next song.

In a few scenes, conversations with Cave or between the two musicians give an impression of the highly complex artistic relationship between the two men, whose interaction also shaped the band Grinderman and now the group Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. What always seems inspiring and creative in the film is put into perspective by Cave himself by pointing out the many difficult times in the studio. The moments of brilliant musical work are “just snippets in a sea of crap”. The film is full of snippets. dpa

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