One More Time With Feeling
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
The Nick Cave documentary One More Time With Feeling is a documentary done as an impressionistic painting. The movie is like a long, lonely introspective waltz. The film doesn't have the magic realism or stirring hopefulness of 20,000 Days On Earth, but it doesn't need it because it has the stillness of silence and the alchemy of poetry. In one of the most poignant moments in the movie Nick Cave alludes to trauma. He describes the event like an elastic band that stretches away from you, but eventually snaps and brings you back to the scene of the crime. It's clear he's talking about grief, although he never mentions his son Arthur by name. Equally stirring is when Cave's wife, Susie Bick, shows us a framed drawing her son Arthur made as a five year old boy. The drawing is of a child standing next to a seaside cliff. The sky behind him is a sweeping blue vista that seems to imply forever. It just so happens this cliff is the same cliff Arthur fell off of and plunged to his death. Susie describes how she was haunted, not by the eerie prescience of the drawing, but by the fact the drawing is framed in black. She wonders why she chose to frame the drawing in black and her question leads to a lingering silence between her and her husband, a silence so exposed and fragile it's almost embarrassing to watch as an outsider. The film itself is shot in luminous 3D black & white, which at first seems slightly jarring and unnecessary, until you realize the filmmaker is using it as a framing device for the tragedy that haunts the film. 3D is the illusion of depth perception and so the rawness of it becomes almost like a pallbearer guiding us through the dark maze of the subjects grief.