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This Much I Know to Be True review – Nick Cave and Warren Ellis on transcendent form

Capturing intimate live performances of their albums Ghosteen and Carnage, Andrew Dominik’s documentary gets to the heart of a remarkable creative partnership There is something inherently cinematic about the work of Australian musicians and composers Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. The pair have collaborated on a string of scores for films, ranging from John Hillcoat’s 2005 antipodean western The Proposition (for which Cave also wrote the script) to the forthcoming Blonde, director Andrew Dominik’s adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’s historical fiction novel about “the inner life of Marilyn Monroe”. Yet even away from the movie theatre, Ellis and Cave’s compositions have a widescreen sweep, conjuring intimate aural landscapes of love and death – religion and fairytale intertwined. These are musical parables of grief and redemption, echoing Cave’s belief that “we all live our lives dangerously, in a state of jeopardy, at the edge of calamity”. In his 2016 film One More Time With Feeling, Dominik (with whom the pair had worked on the underrated masterpiece The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) documented the creative process behind the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album Skeleton Tree, a record forged in the wake of a terrible family tragedy. Now, Dominik turns his attention to a new chapter in Cave and Ellis’s musical saga, as they prepare songs from the albums Ghosteen and Carnage before a 2021 tour. Continue reading...

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