5 Reasons Every Nirvana Fan Should Watch New Doc, 'Montage Of Heck'
It’s been more than two decades since the death of Kurt Cobain; yet, his legacy continues to draw the attention of music lovers and critics.
Frontman and guitarist for Nirvana, Cobain possessed an enigmatic personality that has been thoroughly documented and studied.
Now, for the first time, HBO and documentarian Brett Morgen are giving fans an official biopic.
While the 1998 documentary, "Kurt & Courtney," gave some insight into the mysteries surrounding Kurt’s alleged suicide, and the 2006 documentary, "About A Son," gave us a look into the rock icon's life through his own words, both films leave something to be desired.
Eight years in the making, Brett Morgen’s latest effort, "Montage of Heck," which has been shown at film festivals and is set to premiere today on HBO, has been quickly becoming the hottest topic within the music industry.
Here are a few things you should know, which have fans and music lovers excited for the film's television premiere:
1. Frances Farmer Gets Revenge: Courtney Love and daughter Frances Bean Cobain have taken active roles in the film's production.
"Montage of Heck" marks the first time a film has been made about Kurt with the cooperation of his family, most notably his only daughter, Frances, who joined as co-executive producer.
With Kurt’s widow, Courtney Love, on board, audiences can finally indulge in a slew of never-before-seen home movies, song demos, journal entries and artwork Love has had in her possession since his death.
2. Radio Friendly Unit Shifter: A soundtrack with lost demos and recordings is planned for release, along with the film.
Director Brett Morgen spent countless hours sorting through Cobain’s personal items and finding a ton of music, which he plans to release as a soundtrack with the film's television premiere.
Recently, a recording of Kurt singing Paul McCartney’s “And I Love Her” has found its way onto the Internet. Morgan recently told Rolling Stone:
"Nobody in Kurt’s life — not his management, wife, or bandmates — had ever heard his Beatles thing [And I Love Her snippet]. I found it on a random tape."
3. In Bloom: The film documents Kurt’s entire life, from birth to death.
With old home videos and photos of Kurt in his earliest years as quite possibly the cutest kid ever, to the rare footage of Nirvana playing their first show (and long before their second record, Nevermind, knocked Michael Jackson’s Dangerous out of the top spot on the Billboard charts), this documentary weaves together Kurt’s life much like a narrative, in a way fans have never seen.
David Fear of Rolling Stone describes it best as “the unfiltered Kurt experience.”
4. All Apologies: Fans can finally find closure with Kurt’s death.
The 1998 documentary, "Kurt & Courtney" dove into the many mysteries surrounding Kurt’s death by presenting the idea that instead of suicide, Cobain was murdered.
While some of the evidence and testimonies in the film are fascinating and raise a lot of questions, the fact of the matter is Kurt was in an ongoing battle with drug addiction and mental illness.
"Montage of Heck" has exclusive interviews, most notably with Courtney Love, who hasn’t publicly spoken out much about the suicide, which may give some new insight into the tortured soul Kurt truly was.
5. Come As You Are: The film is said to show Cobain in a new way.
We all know Kurt as the quintessential angst-ridden rockstar.
With the immediate popularity of Nirvana’s second record, Nevermind, and the accompanying single, “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Kurt was quickly labeled as the spokesperson for Generation-X, a label he would grow to despise up until his death.
His constant battle with heroin became an inherent part of his career and is, to this day, synonymous with his legacy.
When asked about the film’s approach to Kurt’s addiction, Brett Morgen told Spin magazine:
"At this point, I know people aren’t going to walk away from this film feeling like we’ve torn Kurt down and vilified him. I’ve said before that we weren’t trying to put him on a pedestal, we were trying to look him in the eye and strip away some of the myths to reveal the man, and we’re all fallible. "That’s what makes us human, which makes us unique. I think to try and present ‘St. Kurt’ would have done a tremendous disservice to his legacy and to the fans."
While the addiction subject is nothing new, what especially sets this film apart from the others is how it focuses on depicting Kurt as a husband and a father, something that has never been genuinely done before.
Frances Bean was only 20 months old at the time of Kurt’s death, and now, at the age of 22, she has no recollection of him.
With new home videos depicting Kurt grinning ear to ear as he spends time with his newborn daughter, old and new Nirvana fans can finally see Kurt Cobain in a way we never have before: truly happy.