THE first chance to hear Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' new album Skeleton Tree comes at Thursday night's screening of the documentary One More Time With Feeling at City Screen, York.

Directed by Chopper and Killing Them Softly filmmaker Andrew Dominik, the 3D film documents the writing and recording of a record made against a tragic backdrop: the death of Cave's 15-year-old twin son Arthur after falling from the cliffs at Ovingdean Gap, East Sussex, in July last year.

Dominick's film will be shown in 150 cinemas across Britain and Ireland and more than 850 worldwide on Thursday, ahead of Skeleton Tree's arrival on Friday, including 9pm shows at City Screen.

Originally a performance-based concept, One More Time With Feeling evolved into something more significant as Dominik delved into the making of the Bad Seeds' 16th studio album.

The record had begun its journey in late 2014 at Retreat Studios, Brighton, with further sessions at La Frette Studios, France last autumn after Arthur's death. The album was then mixed at AIR Studios in London in early 2016.

Interwoven throughout the Bad Seeds’ filmed performance of Skeleton Tree are interviews and footage shot by Dominik, accompanied by Cave’s intermittent narration and improvised rumination. Filmed in black-and-white and colour, the result is stark, fragile and raw.

Dominik says: "When Nick approached me about making a film around the recording and performing of the new Bad Seeds album, I’d been seeing quite a lot of him as we rallied around him and his family at the time of his son’s death. My immediate response was 'Why do you want to do this?'. Nick told me that he had some things he needed to say, but he didn’t know who to say them to.

"The idea of a traditional interview, he said, was simply unfeasible but that he felt a need to let the people who cared about his music understand the basic state of things. It seemed to me that he was trapped somewhere and just needed to do something – anything - to at least give the impression of forward movement."

Dominik took the record away and listened to it "trying to work out a way into the whole thing". "In the end, I agreed to do it if I could shoot it in black-and-white and 3D. Nick’s response was, 'I ******* hate 3D' or something like that," he recalls.

"I showed him old black and white photos viewed through a stereopticon from the 50s. I told him I wanted to make a film where these sorts of photos came slowly to life. I felt that the stark black-and-white and the haunted drama of these 3D images perfectly addressed the disembodied sound of the record and the weird sense of paralysis that Nick seemed to exist in at the time."

To achieve this effect Dominik built a special camera, a massive, lumbering piece of equipment whose almost comic lack of mobility added to the eerie drift of the film itself. "No-one has ever seen a 3D black-and-white non-animated feature film in modern times – for as far as I know, no such thing exists," he says. "It is both modern and from a distant age – much like the Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ new record, Skeleton Tree, actually."

Cave, who lives in Brighton, came to Los Angeles to watch the film. His response to Dominik saying "make sure they see it in 3D" was "obviously conflicted", says the filmmaker. "How could it not be?" he acknowldges. "In the end he said, 'leave it as it is', which we did. He said that it was obviously 'made with love', which it was." 

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