Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
One of the most talked about documentaries during this year's Sundance Film Festival was the Brett Morgen directed Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck. Being a music guy, I figured why not watch this biopic and garner a little more insight into the glorious and often troubled life of the lead singer of one of the most influential bands of all time.
The documentary itself was a no-holds-barred look at the life of Cobain from a chronological perspective. Morgen was given full access to a variety of journals, paintings, demos, home movies and personal items that nobody had ever seen or watched. This made the documentary more genuine from a factual standpoint. From the early days of his youth, we saw glimpses of brilliance and promise from Cobain. We also saw the destructive internal demons he was dealing with making him an outsider amongst the inner circles of his peers.
The story starts in Aberdeen, Washington, the birthplace of Cobain. At an early age Cobain showed a penchant for an imagination that he would transform into art, specifically drawings. A caring and sensitive Cobain had also developed a keen interest in music. Early influences began to shape his musical aspirations and soon it became the center of his world. From this, the birth of Nirvana took shape and would lead the band to unimagined stardom. Enter: Courtney Love. At this point Nirvana was beginning to become a household name. Courtney Love, a fellow musician, became involved with Cobain leading to a turbulent relationship infused with drug-fueled episodes. You could clearly see a transformation that showcased both the loving and sensitive side of Cobain as well as his destructive side. The birth of his child, Frances Bean, dramatically changed his volatile mood swings by showing us a side that only lived behind closed doors. A caring father, Cobain made it clear that Frances was the center of his universe and he would adjust his lifestyle to become a model father.
The film is full of creative stills that come to live as the entries of his journal are brought to the forefront. It’s as though we are witnessing him write them out for the first time. The documentary can be called a celebration and also a very intimate look that will catch many by surprise. A victim of his own success, the documentary is a masterful piece that hopes to give us a true understanding of the life of Kurt Cobain. The film is set to premiere May 4th on HBO. Check out the trailer below.