Film Review – One More Time with Feeling (2016)

Title – One More Time with Feeling (2016)

Director – Andrew Dominik (Chopper)

Cast – Nick Cave, Warren Ellis

Plot – A documentary covering the recording of the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album Skeleton Tree in the aftermath of Cave’s tragic loss of his 15 year old son Arthur.

“Most of us don’t want to change. What we do want is sort of modifications on the original model”

Review by Eddie on 25/09/2017

I wouldn’t call myself a Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds fanboy, more like a passer-by who appreciates what he has heard of their works especially Cave and Warren Ellis’s works providing film scores over recent years, so perhaps One More Time with Feeling doesn’t mean as much to me as it would to long serving fans that have been with the band since their inception.

This music documentary that centres almost entirely around Cave in the recording studio working on the Skeleton Tree album is directed by Australian filmmaker Andrew Dominik and the Chopper and Assassination of Jesse James overcomes the disappointing reception of his last feature film Killing Them Softly to deliver a beautifully captured documentation of the album making process that also happens to touch upon the tragic loss of Cave’s son Arthur that turned his world upside down.

There’s nothing typical about Cave the musician and Cave the human and Dominik’s film follows the mantra to a tee with Cave allowed to provide rambling voice overs and deep life pondering monologues on camera to fill in blanks but it would’ve been more effective for a watcher like myself had Dominik and Cave himself toned down the ponderous to instead talk more to the everyman as much of the diatribe or deep musings end up becoming a little too much to bare.

One thing that never gets hard to bare however is Dominik’s directing style (unfortunately the version of the film I watched wasn’t in the intended 3-D format) and the filmmaker uses his cinematic senses to great effect as the camera invades and wanders the recording studio. There is also little denying the power of some of Cave and his bands work here with members like the majestical Warren Ellis combining with Cave to deliver some heart-wrenching and soul searching songs born out of unimaginable loss and if nothing else, these musical moments make One More Time with Feeling worth the price of admission.

Final Say –

An absolute must for fans of Cave and his music, this anything but a by the numbers music doco is an intimate look into the bands creative sensibilities and a sometimes touching portrait of a man touched by grief. If however there was a little less airplay given to various and overlong ramblings, One More Time with Feeling would’ve been a film for everyone, not just those willing to nod in approval to every little word Cave speaks.

3 forgotten piano chords out of 5

2 responses to “Film Review – One More Time with Feeling (2016)

    • I’ve actually not caught 20,000 yet even though I’ve been wanting to! This is a very intimate doco and very much about the process of making an album in the face of adversity. For fans of Cage it’s a must watch.

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