Cobain obsessives will be very happy watching this. The amount of detail about Kurt’s life, music, art and death is comprehensive. Painful to watch, the film details how the Nirvana star lived, shone and died.
Many of the stories here have been told before, but Brett Morgen has put together an impressive mix of home movies, interviews and recreations of painful moments. Animated scenes and art give strength and depth to this (mostly) sad story, set to music and words.
“Montage of Heck” is the title Kurt gave to an audio collage he made, before fame came along. It’s also an apt description of his life.
Heroin weaves its way into the picture. Brief happy moments with Courtney Love and baby Frances are shown.
Courtney and Frances approved this documentary. You wonder if Kurt’s mother really looks that much like Courtney. And parallels are drawn with how much Yoko Ono Lennon and Linda McCartney were hate figures for the fans.
It’s 145 minutes long and the camera lingers a little too long and reverently over the lyrics and art Kurt created.
Truly, it all comes down to the music. And you either believe those songs are as fresh and honest today as they were when you first heard them or you don’t.
At the Stratford East Picturehouse, everyone in the audience was singing along to all the songs. I was too.