“I think I’m losing my voice” croaks Nick Cave. It’s a quote that has boundless metaphorical meanings coming from this exhausted poet in the back of a taxi cab.
‘One More Time With Feeling’ is one of those rare movies that succeed on almost every level. You fall in love with Cave and the Bad Seeds. It holds you from the start and screams for you to listen. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a fan of documentaries or not, this one will hit everyone close to home.
Originally just a performance based concept to promote Cave’s new album, Dominik has managed to evolve this piece into something much more significant by delving into the tragic backdrop of the creation of Cave’s sixteenth studio album, ‘Skeleton Tree’.
The harrowing nature of the documentary is really what hits, an undeniably emotive story of trauma. Overshadowing the raw and fragile yet powerful soundtrack from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is the untimely demise of Cave’s son, Arthur, who took LSD and fell from a cliff in his hometown of Brighton midway through the recording of ‘Skeleton Tree’.
At first, you think the film won’t discuss the loss of Arthur. However, as it continues Cave expresses those feelings in a conversation about the difficulties of the creative process and his relationship with fellow musician and Bad Seeds member, Warren Ellis.
At just under 2 hours, the string of mysterious conversations might fall on deaf ears for non-fans and casual listeners. Later, though, the enigma is stripped away and what follows is a window into Cave’s soul. The man’s confusion and anguish almost overwhelm the audience with emotion.
Dominik, known for films such as The Assassination of Jesse James, breathes new life into the saturated documentary genre. It certainly looks unlike any other documentary, thanks to unconventional filming techniques such as the camera’s seamless dreamlike roaming from room to room.
One More Time With Feeling ends with a final few shots of the same cliff Arthur fell from – one last emotional gut punch for the audience. This film is an incredible testament to a battered poet, if not a happy one.