Dir: Brett Morgan (2015)
Talented documentary film maker Brett Morgan takes on the mythic downfall of a modern rock icon; Cobain: Montage of Heck is filled to the brim with motion graphic animation of Kurt Cobain’s already published diary and interviews with his close family and friends. Animation, some of it absolutely fantastic, and stock footage makes up 70% of the the film, thus making the interviews slightly limp, both in their questions and their answers.
Though Dave Grohl and the other members of Nirvana are sorely missed (bassist Krist Novoselic does well as the only other band member reflecting) Morgan’s focus never wavers into the story of one of biggest rock band on earth. This is it’s blessing and curse; The film is intensely focused on Cobain to a fault: Interesting, candid, slightly morose and a little bit lacking, peripherally, perhaps but it long hard stare at the star makes it a unique look at one of the biggest rock stars of all time.
The Cobain family’s super 8 footage gives us the blonde haired and blue eye angel who soon became saddened and lost over his parent’s divorce, before the all empowering punk rock scene swept him into the rather caustic lime light. Restored fan footage from early gigs certainly captures the young bands intensity and the writers penchant for those hauntingly simple couplets. When Morgan includes Kurt and Courtney Love‘s personal home video footage at the height of their drug use Montage of Heck stars to feel a little sensationalist in it’s intent but as an honest and cutting picture it’s one which still has the capacity to haunt.