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Reinhard Kleist – Nick Cave: Mercy On Me

I mentioned Reinhard Kleist’s graphic novel, Johnny Cash: I See A Darkness so long ago in these pages (2009), and in such a short blurb, that it’s not even worth linking. Suffice it to say, I loved it. And now, here’s Kleist (an amazing artist)’s book on another amazing artist, Nick Cave.

This work captures the restlesness, the angst, the anger, the poetry, the power, the swirl that is Nick Cave, forces it all down into pages that can barely contain him. Written as flights of fancy and using song lyrics and characters from Cave’s songs, this book is as unrelenting as its subject. The artwork is gorgeous, as we expect from Kleist. 

From the early days with the Birthday Party through to driving his car into the large hadron collider with Robert Johnson riding shotgun, this book as a goddamn must-read.  

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The Proposition: Updated

Way back in October of 2016, right around the 10th anniversary of the KMA, actually, I posted up THIS BRIEF POST about the soundtrack for the movie The Proposition.

Back then, based on what I’d heard in the soundtrack, I had every intention of seeing the film. True to my word, here in January of 2018, we finally watched it last night. Nothing like waiting a bit, eh?

What a film. It’s stark, and undeniably of the landscape in which it takes place, in feel, in tone, in mood… This tale of three outlaw brothers wanted for murder holds power struggles, racism, brutality, and the hard life of frontier Australia. Fair Warning: In no way, shape or form is this a film to be gone into lightly. The tension is thick from start to finish. Even the beautiful scenes, the philosophical, wistful, loving scenes are frought with the knowledge that beauty might imminently change to horror. Often, it does.

Written (brilliantly) by Nick Cave, this flick has a great cast with Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, Emily Watson, John Hurt, Danny Huston, and David Wenham. All of them play it to the friggin’ hilt. Each character was performed perfectly, though we kept hoping for Emily Watson to be more than she was, here – she is a fine actress and this role wasn’t really a stretch for her. In depicting the times and her role in them, and in making herself the calm heart of the storm, she did it up just right. But still we kept hoping for her to make herself more of a major player, as the story unfolded and she learned the truths around her… Anyway.

Having now seen the film, I can tell you that the soundtrack I heard two years ago (and which I know I must now replay) is so inextricably entwined with the film that it could not possibly be any more perfect. Beautiful, lilting tunes, a capella singing in desert canyons, and old traditionals done just right are bluntly crashed into by raging moments of musical mayhem and volume. The scenes on screen are doubled, even trebled by the force and/or gentleness of the music.

I really cannot recommend this one enough, to all of you. I’m a bit of a tough audience to please, when it comes to films, but I can say without equivocation that The Proposition, as a film and as a soundtrack, will stay with me for a long, long time.

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