Cert: 15 Runtime: 145 mins Director: Brett Morgen Cast: Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love and Krist Novoselic
I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.
Kurt Cobain and Nirvana have been a part of my music education since the age of 11, I was only a kid when he passed away but once I found his music he became stuck with me for life. We all know he was a troubled soul but a great artist. The fact that Brett Morgen was given permission to make this documentary by the Cobain family is always a good step. We as an audience will be seeing the real story of Cobain and an inside to his most inner personal life. What is it about then? Using the troubled singer-songwriter’s extensive archive of diary entries, home videos and drawings – several of which are here animated for additional impact – Morgen traces Cobain’s sense of isolation and self-doubt back to his upbringing and his parents’ unhappy marriage. His descent into heroin addiction after Nirvana’s early success is dealt with matter-of-factly, with his widow and fellow addict Courtney Love proving exceptionally candid.
Montage of Heck was made purely for the fans! For me it’s insightful and very humbling to learn and observe more of the Kurt Cobain we barely knew. It’s hard to imagine Cobain passed away 21 years ago, but his spirit does live on. He is the highest grossing dead musician in the world, he makes more money than Elvis! Brett Morgen was given access to some very intimate home movies, voice recordings and photos of the Cobain’s. His childhood segment was information that I have heard before, but the home videos makes it powerful and gives you more of a sense of who he was. the use of animation throughout also gives the film great character. It was more interesting watching these parts rather than people talking. The choice of music through out really suited the piece we got some classic Nirvana but using an orchestra instead. The visuals through out scream tortured soul, Cobain’s art is insane very Bacon-esk in my opinion. But the journals is what makes the Morgen’s piece bleed, Cobain’s inner thoughts are very painful to read most of the time. But it really does give it soul.
This is not a perfect piece by an kind, it’s not very insightful. It feels like a two hour long over view of his life but there is no depth of study into anything.My personal advice before you watch Montage of Heck, do some light reading or watch another documentary first to establish some facts about Cobain. My better half didn’t really get what some segments were about because of some lack of information. The fact that Courtney Love doesn’t feature that strongly in the piece baffles me slightly. I’d anticipate a lot of it was left on the cutting room floor. Morgen has expressed why Dave Grohl didn’t feature in Montage of Heck, even though Grohl agreed to featuring in the film. He wasn’t free due to touring, by the time Morgen had him on camera he said the film works well without him. For me and my partner his insight would of been great in the film. Cobain: Montage of Heck is one of the best music documentaries I have seen. The visuals alone makes it worth the money, but it’s soulful core really bring Kurt back to life. Any Nirvana, Cobain, music or art lover should watch Brett Morgen’s finest work to date.