At Home, BluRay/DVD Reviews


By • Dec 6th, 2016 •

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Who is this man? I never saw him before.
Alabaster skin shunned of apricity, deep dark penetrating eyes brooding.
His face has the ability to morph into another in an instant without ever really changing.

Somber and melancholy, the interviews seems vexing. Why is the camera infringing upon him? He speaks articulating an attempt to convey something troublesome.

Would his portrait hang favorably alongside those of Edgar Alan Poe and Dylan Thomas? His vampiric qualities would have him cast in ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE. On a musical scale, his downtrodden heart ails with Morrissey’s. His hypnotic voice haunts the soul as it resurrects Jim Morrison and Leonard Cohen.

In a car, sits the figure who confesses “Time feels elastic.” In his perception the past, present, and future is happening at once. “Song serves as a need. I need a narrative. Where things need to be held together. I don’t believe there is a pleasing resolve…. ” With an ominous tone, usually dressed smartly in black and white, Nick Cave is the stark subject of ONE MORE TIME WITH FEELING.

ONE MORE TIME WITH FEELING is a documentary on Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Shot in Black and White with only a few minutes of color mixed in, the 2-D/ 3-D film is devoid of any backstory or history of the band as director Andrew Dominik’s main focus is on Cave during the recording of the album, Skeleton Tree. Friend and bandmate Warren Ellis offers words, yet, is skittish on delving into the realm of personal information. The audience is privy to the musical process as well as what may be regarded as a psychiatric session in which Cave attempts to untangle and recognize and absolve himself from that which looms overhead.

Here, the imagery is as powerful as the audio. The wisps of tones, notes susurrating. Camera movements fluid in their concentric paths. Ellis and the Bad Seeds music compliment Cave’s lyrical hypnotic oratory.

In a recording studio that appears to have been a church, Cave is at a Bosendorfer piano with only fleeting moments of a smile while at the keys. The lyrics sung, ” I am calling you with my voice.” Cave’s narration layered above expressing, “I think I am losing my voice…File under lost things.” It’s all quite alluring and provocative.

As soon as the entire band begins to play, the music is powerful like a signal being sent somewhere. And again, Cave’s face shifts as if he were a hybrid creature. The headphones giving the appearance of ears set back from a face adorned with thick eyebrows. Ellis, the bearded man, conducting as the camera lens’ shallow focal length focused on his hand to make use of the specially designed 3-D camera. Clever editing is employed as the performance is intercut with shots of Cave behind the mixing board as if watching himself.

Instead of a music studio it resembles a control room at NASA. The huge movie lights are moon-like, shining upon the band’s faces overexposed which are in contrast to the dark moody lyrics. Sweeping camera movements, music and narration overlapping, creating the impression of a monumental celestial event reminiscent of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS. Notes from a Wurlitzer become faint as the ever increasing chatter lands us back to the music studio.

The camera breaks down, re-shots are necessary, and cables hum. Cave stutters and has issues with playing a piano for a song. All of this is incorporated into the film that could have been edited out. However, it’s in keeping with the dialogue on life, decay, and struggle.

Several songs are featured with each one filmed the same, yet decidedly different, employing various techniques. Easily, these songs could have been interchanged without anyone noticing or caring. Not here. The shooting and editing compliment the songs and are not overpowered. All take us on an auricle spherical journey, notably the spinning camera down a spiral staircase. Director of Photographers Benoît Debie and Alwin H. Küchler are deserving of accolades.

In contrast to the dark Nick Cave is his wife Suzie in a flowery dress. She is a designer who now is reliant upon her work for sanity. Mrs. Cave’s quirk is the need to rearrange furniture to Nick’s dismay. He expresses his love for her and claims she is superstitious and believes that his songs are foretelling of the future. While watching she and her husband together, their aura gives the slightest resemblance to Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall in THE SHINING. In a room aligned with framed images upon the wall, they convey their feelings while, most probably with all their will, suppressing a flurry of emotion. Each fidgets. Beneath the table he takes her hand.

Suzie displays a painting framed in black of a windmill done by their son who was five years old. Hesitant to show her husband this painting, we learn of the horror that has befallen this couple.

Cut to a picture of couple walking down a path with a young boy ahead. All of the angst is now in perspective. Straight forward shots of Cave’s face in the next performance bellow the lyrics, “…I need you..In my heart…Just breathe…”

In the only performance presented in color, the female vocalist is bathed in light; a halo. The camera pulls out to reveal an overview of a city, then the continent, then the earth to the heavens. All of those camera concentric movements now have significance. Cave spoke of continuity. The filming, it’s appearance of randomness, of chaos, in actuality is an order. Maybe, the same holds true for the events in life.

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