The director of Crossfire Hurricane and The Kid Stays in the Picture offers up a detailed look into the life of legendary Nirvana front man and tortured soul Kurt Cobain through a variety of documentary mediums. From archive footage to candid interviews, taped diary entries to stunning animation, Montage of Heck bears the kind of unashamed honesty and tangible grit that excels in its profundity.
Whatever your opinion on the man and his music, Brett Morgen manages to humanize one of the biggest music icons of the late 20th Century. There’s levity in the darkest of moments as a brutally frank and sincere young man describes growing up suffering small town syndrome, his first sexual exploits and his turbulent relationship with both heroin and his wife, Hole’s Courtney Love. It is with some small wonder that in spite of the heartfelt talking heads that encapsulate so many facets of Cobain’s life, that there’s a Dave Grohl sized hole in the feature that hinders the documentary from being absolutely comprehensive.
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (also billed as Cobain: Montage of Heck) is a 2015 documentary film about Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain. The film was directed by Brett Morgen and premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. It received a limited theatrical release worldwide and premiered on television in the United States on HBO on April 24, 2015. The documentary chronicles the life of Kurt Cobain from his birth in Aberdeen, Washington in 1967, through his troubled early family life and teenage years and rise to fame as front man of Nirvana, up to his death in April 1994 in Seattle at the age of 27.
The film includes artwork by Cobain as well as music and sound collages composed by him. Much of music and sound collages were released on the film’s soundtrack, Montage of Heck: The Home Recordings. A companion book was also released containing animation stills from the film as well as transcripts of interviews, photographs, and Cobain’s artwork that were not featured in the film.
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