Kurt Cobain: Montage of HeckBerlin Film Festival 2015
A performer and personality who for so many came to represent the voice of a generation, the enigmatic Kurt Cobain has had a brighter light shone on him than ever before by Brett Morgen’s latest documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck. As part of a project that was seven years in the making, Morgen was granted a triple A pass by the Cobain family to extensive never-before-seen footage, journals, artwork and recordings.
Morgen’s previous documentaries, such as his critically acclaimed 30 for 30 project 17th June 1994, have sought to engage and involve the viewer as much as educate or inform, and, with so much information at hand, Montage of Heck takes the viewer right to the very heart of what it was to be Kurt Cobain.
The film earns a further layer of substance and engagement by mixing together the intimacy of the home movies and journals with original interview footage. Having been expressly asked by Cobain’s wife, Courtney Love, to consider the project, Morgen went on to use the cooperation of the Cobain family to understand the soul of the man through those who would have loved Kurt whether he was a rock icon or anonymous janitor.
The sheer volume of personal material at the disposal of the film has meant that Cobain is presented in as raw and intimate a state as an audience could ever hope to see. Amid the home movie footage there is an affecting segment that shows a barely cognisant Cobain attempt to cut his daughter’s hair in the presence of his wife. The audio records detailing seminal life moments, which stretch as far as to cover him losing his virginity, are then paired with animation that add further life to their narration.
For a subject whose legendary death has at times overshadowed his considerable status in life, Montage of Heck’s true value lies in celebrating the existence of Cobain, rather than his demise, in what is a sincere and heartfelt journey through both the good and the bad.
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck does not have a UK release date yet.
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