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With: Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, Krist Novoselic
Written by: Brett Morgen
Directed by: Brett Morgen
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 145
Date: 05/04/2015

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Drain You

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

I am a huge music nerd and Nirvana is perhaps my favorite band of all time. Like an earlier generation and JFK, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I learned that Kurt Cobain was dead, and it affected me deeply; like many others of my age, I had connected with his music in a profound way. (And, yes, I own an old CD of Bleach.) So it's not easy for me to watch a documentary like Brett Morgen's Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck lightly. But I will say that I liked what I saw. It made me appreciate Kurt's music and artistry anew. Morgen was given access to tons of intimate home movie footage -- so intimate that it shows Courtney Love naked -- and deals openly with Kurt's drug use, mainly as a way to kill his undiagnosed stomach pain. As with Morgen's Chicago 10, the filmmaker also uses animated sequences to flesh out Kurt's audio recordings. We see Kurt bristling at interviewers' questions, and dealing with the music biz. But, ultimately, the movie manages to paint a portrait of a man so very lonely and brilliant that your heart breaks every time he creates something. Morgen uses interviews sparingly, and mainly focuses on Love an Kurt's bandmate Krist Novoselic (who goes all the way back to the beginning of Nirvana), and the movie also serves to exonerate Love from her image as Kurt's destroyer (Kurt clearly loved her very much). The movie includes a ton of amazing music, from well-known and less-known Nirvana recordings to Kurt noodling around with the Beatles' "And I Love Her."

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