Cobain: Montage Of Heck

A multimedia mix of the singer-songwriter’s home movies, journal entries, drawings, notebook scrawlings and audio recordings (buffered, naturally, by vintage interview excerpts and concert clips), Brett Morgen’s documentary is more than just a must-see for Nirvana fans. It’s an eight-years-in-the-making labour of love that offers a private peek into the artist’s mind.

Montage of Heck takes its title from one of the mix tapes Cobain would fill with miscellaneous voices, noise, taped snippets and the occasional demo, and Morgen (The Kid Stays in the Picture, Crossfire Hurricane) borrows that odds-and-ends format in order to get at something much more personal. We get a disjointed, disorienting look at fame through his eyes, and an uncomfortably intimate look at his life with Courtney Love. This is not a spokesman for a generation. This is a human being, and a husband and a father.

Anyone could have crafted a documentary about a band. Morgen’s experimental, road-less-travelled approach does something much deeper: letting you feel as if you’ve pored through someone’s scrapbook. You get the sense that Kurt would have liked this.

David Fear Rolling Stone

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