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Movie Review: Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015)

| 21 May 2015 | Reply

Movie Review: Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015)
Directed by Brett Morgen
Reviewed by Shayne McGowan

Kurt Cobain Montage Of Heck poster

In the lead up to the release of this film, I often wondered why we needed another Kurt Cobain or Nirvana documentary. The story has been told multiple times, and I don’t really need to hear it again. Stiil, I found myself buying tickets, and sitting in a cinema ready to check it out.

I am very glad that I did, because this film is brilliant.

Director Brett Morgan (Crossfire Hurricane, 2012) has done a superb job in creating Montage of Heck. I can’t even begin to imagine how many hours he spent sifting through boxes of Cobain archives in order to tell the story as if through Kurt Cobains own words.

And there you have it, the piece of the puzzle that makes this film stand ahead of the rest. It is presented to us, as if Kurt is the one telling the story of his life. Furthermore, it IS the story of his life, rather than the story of his death. Of course his suicide is mentioned here and there, but it is not at all the focus of this presentation.

Through family home video footage of Kurt’s childhood, home video footage of Kurt with Courtney and Francis, archival footage of Nirvana, Kurt’s own illustrations, paintings and writings and audio recordings, Brett Morgan has crafted the story together seamlessly.

Certain queues have been taken from Pink Floyds The Wall, in that the paintings and drawings, and even the handwritten texts are brought to life through animation, and there are several beautifully animated passages in the film that bring to life the sometimes disturbing voice recordings of Kurt.

To be perfectly honest, I walked away from Montage of Heck feeling like I just violated the privacy of Kurt Cobain. I know that this film has the backing of Francis Cobain, but still I was left wondering how Kurt would feel about his private recordings and diaries being chopped up, animated and broadcast to the masses.

Likewise for the never before heard recordings of music that have been inserted into the film. We know that Kurt was first and foremost an artist, and a bit of a perfectionist, so I have to wonder how he would feel about these raw and more than likely unfinished songs being heard the world over. I hear that there will actually be an album released later this year.

Regardless of how Kurt would feel, the movie is out there for the world to see, and it is in fact a brilliantly made document, of the life of Kurt Cobain. A must see for any fan of Kurt, Nirvana, or fans of great filmmaking in general.

Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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