Home > Television > Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (a review)

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (a review)

Kurt Cobain was a tortured soul… physically as a result of a lifelong stomach ailment that he tried to numb with illicit drugs, and a shitty childhood that scarred him psychologically. When I heard the news about his death, I remember thinking, “He had it all, why would he do that?” If you thought the same, then you should watch this documentary.

Directed by Brett Morgen, “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” had unprecedented access into old home movies, photos, journals, artwork and interviews from Cobain’s life, friends, family, and bandmates. Frances Bean Cobain is a producer on this doc and she, along with her grandmother/Kurt’s mother (Wendy O’Connor) and mom Courtney Love gave permission for the material to be used as well as a say on the final cut (Frances Bean).

Admittedly, there are reports that O’Conner and Kurt’s sister were pretty upset at a few old home movie scenes that were included (there is one where he is holding Frances as a baby looking very strung out while Courtney tries to cut her hair), but there was no major effort to remove them from the footage that was used. The movie is pretty unblinking and candid regarding the drug use, once rumored to be rampant even when Love was pregnant with Frances Bean and confirmed in Love’s interview. Despite the issues with drugs, home movie footage that Courtney filmed during their time together shows a genuine level of affection that the two shared for each other and for their child.

Love also gives an interesting theory as to what could have drove Cobain to attempt suicide in Rome 8 days prior to his successful attempt: she was considering have an affair with someone else, and he found out about it and got really upset. **(I have my theories as to who the person is/was, but she does not go into that detail during her interview.)** Yes, the popular opinion is to hate Courtney and blame her for Kurt’s suicide and drug use, but listen to what she has to say in her interview and how she says it. Kurt’s heroin use didn’t start with their relationship, and two addicts trying to raise a baby wasn’t exactly a recipe for success by any means.

Obviously there are quite a few people that like the conspiracy theory that Courtney had Kurt snuffed out, but this documentary shows how really messed up he was inside and outside way before Courtney entered the picture. His drawings (vividly brought to life), old anecdotes about his dysfunctional family life (and one involving his first sexual experience and his first attempt at suicide), journal entries and interviews with his parents and an ex girlfriend paint a picture of a man who didn’t feel like he had the skills to gain a sense of enjoyment out of life even as a rock star that millions of people admired.

Watch this movie, and then listen to Bleach, Nevermind, and In Utero again. It’s pretty mind blowing hearing the progression of his musical skills and anger at the world and at himself.

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck is available for viewing now on HBO and HBO Go. I had heard of a theatrical release in the works, but nothing concrete as of yet.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: