Explores the creative relationship and songs from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’ last two studio albums, “Ghosteen” and “Carnage”.
Nick Cave has developed a habit in recent years of releasing a companion movie alongside his new album releases, and his latest effort – again directed by Andrew Dominik – centres on the recording process for ‘Ghosteen’ and ‘Carnage’, his two most recent albums. ‘This Much I Know To be True’ is part documentary, part footage of the recorded songs from these two albums, and it leans heavily on the music side with the interludes to explore the creative process behind the music a little sparser than in ‘One More Time With Feeling’ (the companion movie to 2016’s ‘Skeleton Tree’).
‘This Much I Know To be True’ will first and foremost appeal to Nick Cave fans, but it’ll also appeal to those interested in the creative process, as we see a lot of Cave and long time collaborator Warren Ellis working through different approaches to achieve the end result. For those familiar with Cave’s work it’s been clear that there’s been a gradual transition into more melodic and poetic music, partly driven by the tragic circumstances of his son’s death although this change had began earlier with ‘Push The Sky Away’. This added emotional heft from Cave’s personal life feeds into the songs on ‘Ghosteen’ in particular and it’s spine tingling watching them come together as Cave and Ellis feed off one another.
Perhaps because this focuses more squarely on the recordings of the songs it didn’t connect with me quite as strongly as ‘One More Time with Feeling’ or ’20,000 Days On Earth’. While it does have some insight into the man himself through a couple of his musings on contributions to his red hand files site and his new found pandemic induced passion for ceramics (yes, really!), I felt it leaned more into the recording session vibe and I’d have liked to hear more from the man himself (and Warren Ellis of course!).
I’m not a spiritual or religious person, but watching Nick Cave perform is as close to that feeling as I can personally get, and besides seeing him on tour, this is the next best thing and I hope he continues making them (although please free Andrew Dominik to make more movies!). This is another enjoyable collaboration that provides greater insight into Nick Cave and the music that he makes and while not as compelling as previous Cave documentaries of its type, it is still essential for any fans.
Directed By: Andrew Dominik
Starring: Nick Cave and Warren Ellis