Wednesday, 25 November 2009

On The Road with Nick Cave

Photo: Barnaby Marriott
Tonight I went to see the film The Road at the Duke of York's cinema in Brighton. The film is based on the novel by Cormac Mccarthy and is directed by John Hillcoat. It was the first time I went to the cinema this year and the main reason was that Nick Cave and Warren Ellis from the Bad Seeds wrote the soundtrack. After the film John Hillcoat and Nick Cave did a Q&A session. I didn't ask any questions, but Barney convinced me to have my photo taken with Mr Cave ...

It's supernatural seeing someone who you admire. Even if Nick Cave is a human being and seems like a really nice person who doesn't let fame get to his head I can't help feeling paralyzed in his presence ... There are so many things I'd like to say. Like how his album No more shall we part helped me through one of the loneliest times in my life. And also what a big inspiration his lyrics are for my current novel, Replacing Angel. All year I've had Nick Cave songs on repeat while writing and when I see the man behind the music it's almost as if him and the music are two separate things. As if I've built up my own personal relationship with the lyrics and don't give a damn about what they meant to Nick Cave when he wrote them. And I think that's the purpose of all art: the art itself should be so good that you don't need a famous person or a pretty face to promote it.

(However I did speak to Nick Cave about two months ago and asked if I had his permission to use him as a character in my novel ... Click here to read more!)

So what did I think of the film? A father and son are trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, walking by foot across America, hoping that everything will be better once they reach the coast. And that's where it all ends. Or starts anew if you so wish ... Tears were threatening to run down my cheeks a few times, because of the tight relationship between father and son. I liked the bleak atmosphere and the sparse piano music. However the theme of cannibalism will probably haunt my dreams tonight ... That's why I prefer reading so I can create my own images, which won't be as bad as seeing something happening in front of your eyes ... I'm glad there's not a film based on Nick Cave's Murder Ballads!


  1. The film sounds interesting. I read the book a couple years ago and found it very dark... reading a similarly dark book called 'The Society of Others' by William Nicholson, another Sussex-based writer - pretty depressing about the state of our society so far. I know what you mean about writing to music - I have my favourites that I almost couldn't imagine writing without, Tori Amos among them. Amazing how the music can help you get into the 'orb' out of which the words can come...

  2. photo with nick!? - well done - i would've crumbled - i was at the premier for the proposition here in melbourne - you feel him walk in the room - he has a lot of fans down here, so i took a back seat, so to speak - im reading the road at the moment, and want to read it within a day or so (with the sound track playing in my flat) then looking to seeing the movie a couple of days after it comes out here in australia

    ps - no more shall we part is my favourite nc and the bs album - a lot of people seem to forget about that one - it's his masterpiece in my opinion

  3. yes it was a pretty crumbling experience!
    now I don't remember any of it, as if it never happened, I was so shaky and thought I was gonna faint on the spot ...

    fifteen feet of pure white snow is my favourite nc song ...