Nick Cave decided to make a documentary about his new album ‘Skeleton Tree’ to avoid having to discuss the death of his son with the media.
Speaking at the premiere of One More Time With Feeling at the Venice film festival, director Andrew Dominik said that the idea for the doc came about after Cave “realised he was going to have to promote the record”, reports the Guardian.
“Arthur had died halfway through making it. And the idea of [promoting] it made him feel sick, because he was going to have to discuss the context of the record with a whole bunch of journalists,” said Dominik. “That prospect was very alarming to him. His instinct in making the film was one of self-preservation: it was a way to talk about what happened, but there was a certain safety in doing it with someone he knew.”
Fifteen-year-old Arthur died in July 2015 after falling from a cliff in Brighton, where Cave lives. A subsequent inquest revealed that he had taken LSD for the first time before the accident.
One More Time With Feeling features long sequences of Cave’s musing about his son’s death, grief and its relation to his work.
Dominik said the film was unlikely to have been a therapeutic process for Cave.
“Nick deals with everything in life by working, if his heart is broken he can turn it into a song, everything is a grist for the mill. But I don’t think the film, or the songs, helped him with his grief. Perhaps momentarily. But this thing is so big, you can’t even get your arms around it.”
Cave previously starred in and co-wrote a documentary musical titled 20,000 Days on Earth that depicts a fictitious 24-hour period of his life.