Australian cult musician Nick Cave is best known for his violent lyrics and legions of black-clad fans but his latest incarnation is as screenwriter of a gritty Australian western.
..."I was determined not to spend inordinate amounts of time on something I felt would fundamentally never get made," Cave said in an interview in New York before the film was screened at the Sundance Film Festival this week.
"I just sat down and banged it out in the spirit of those old Hollywood guys," said Cave, who studied art before turning to music in the 1980s and becoming the archetypal Goth singer with his bands the Birthday Party and later the Bad Seeds.
The film ultimately did get made after director John Hillcoat, a veteran maker of music videos for the likes of INXS and Depeche Mode as well as Cave, was able to piece together financing for the project.
"The Proposition" stars Guy Pearce as outlaw Charlie Burns who is captured with his 14-year-old brother Mikey. He is told by the local police captain the only way to save Mikey from the gallows is to track down and kill their older brother Arthur, a psychotic renegade wanted for rape and murder.
...[It] also stars British actor Ray Winstone and Oscar nominee Emily Watson as the police chief and his wife, a loving and well-intentioned couple whose relationship is in stark contrast to their harsh surroundings.
A grizzled John Hurt makes an appearance as a bounty-hunter in the fly-ridden desert of central Australia in the 1880s where English and Irish newcomers are trying to impose themselves on the Aboriginal population. In a positive review, Variety described the film as "the first genuine, blood-and-thunder Aussie Western" but said its appeal could be limited by its "unremittingly bleak tone and bouts of graphic violence."
Yes, you don't see many bouts of graphic violence these days.