MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 8,882 this week

Kurt Cobain About a Son (2006)

7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,552 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 12 user | 46 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

In this visual essay style documentary, intimate audio of journalist Michael Azerrad's interviews with Kurt Cobain is played over more recently photographed footage of Cobain's Washington state homes and haunts.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 43 titles
created 17 Nov 2011
 
a list of 29 titles
created 25 Aug 2012
 
list image
a list of 21 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 27 titles
created 4 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 2 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Kurt Cobain About a Son (2006)

Kurt Cobain About a Son (2006) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Kurt Cobain About a Son.
2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Last Days (2005)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A Seattle-set rock & roll drama about a musician whose life and career is reminiscent of Kurt Cobain's.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Michael Pitt, Lukas Haas, Asia Argento
Hype! (1996)
Documentary | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Documentary covering the growth and subsequent overexposure of the Seattle "grunge" music scene in the early 90s

Director: Doug Pray
Stars: 7 Year Bitch, Valerie M. Agnew, Carrie Akre
Invisible X (2012)
Short | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

X struggles with the undeniable truth of losing his longtime girlfriend the night of a wild costume party.

Director: Ryan Garretson
Stars: Nick Paglino, Marjorie LeWit, Lawrence Jansen
Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Five weeks after releasing what was to become the seminal album of a generation, Nirvana was on a nationwide club and small theatre tour that brought them to Seattle's Paramount Theatre for... See full summary »

Director: Mark Racco
Stars: Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic
Hit So Hard (2011)
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A documentary that follows Hole drummer Patty Schemel as she struggles with fame and addiction.

Director: P. David Ebersole
Stars: Patty Schemel, Courtney Love, Eric Erlandson
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Rising from the ashes of Nirvana, the Foo Fighters became a Grammy-winning sensation on their own. Sixteen years of the band's history comes to life in this documentary, from their demo ... See full summary »

Director: James Moll
Stars: Shawn Cloninger, William Goldsmith, Jessy Greene
Documentary | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The History of American Punk Rock 1980-1986

Director: Paul Rachman
Stars: Greg Ginn, Ian MacKaye, Lucky Lehrer
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The week before Kurt Cobain was found dead from a single gunshot, he went missing. His whereabouts for that week has remained a mystery until now. But for the first time, the story of what ... See full summary »

Director: John Dower
Stars: Charles Cross, Harvey Ottinger, Alice Wheeler
Documentary | Crime | Drama

Reveals the events behind Kurt Cobain's death as seen through the eyes of Tom Grant, the private investigator that was hired by Courtney Love in 1994 to track down her missing husband (Kurt... See full summary »

Director: Benjamin Statler
Stars: Daniel Roebuck, Kurt Cobain, Sarah Scott
Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  
Director: Lance Bangs
Stars: Chad Channing, Kurt Cobain, Jason Everman
The Cobain Case (Video 2005)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  
Director: Ian Halperin
Stars: Kurt Cobain
Biography | Drama | Music

A biopic of the late Nirvana frontman.

Director: Brett Morgen
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Narrator
Edit

Storyline

An intimate and moving meditation on the late musician and artist Kurt Cobain, based on more than 25 hours of previously unheard audiotaped interviews conducted with Cobain by noted music journalist Michael Azerrad for his book "Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana." In the film, Kurt Cobain recounts his own life - from his childhood and adolescence to his days of musical discovery and later dealings with explosive fame - and offers often piercing insights into his life, music, and times. The conversations heard in the film have never before been made public and they reveal a highly personal portrait of an artist much discussed but not particularly well understood. Written by AJ Schnack

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Kurt Cobain in his own words. See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 October 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Kurt Cobain Project  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$10,749 (USA) (5 October 2007)

Gross:

$80,689 (USA) (11 January 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Roughly eighty minutes into the film, Nirvana biographer and co-producer Michael Azerrad appears for a few seconds looking at the camera. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: I never intended to have some kind of a mystery about us, it's just that i didn't have anything to say in the beginning and now that it's gone on long enough that there's actually a story in a way, but still i think every night that you leave i think, god my life is so fucking boring, compared to so many people i know, we don't deserve to have a book written about us.
See more »

Connections

References Speed Racer (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

My Family Is A Little Weird
Written by Dave Dictor
Performed by MDC
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Uncommercially, no Nirvana songs, but a sincere and worthwhile study
16 August 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana before his untimely death, is often credited by music experts as being one of the most influential musicians of his time. A claim that careful analysis demonstrates to have much credence. Yet he seemed an unremarkable individual. Physical and mental illness. Dropping out of high school. Habitual drug-user. Where did he find the insights that made him such an inspiration to other artists? Making a famous rock-star biopic must be a temptation to fill it with crowd-pleasing footage of their songs. Then link it with candid shots to show the 'real' person. Thankfully, Schnack has steered an alternative course with great integrity in his pursuit for truth. He has looked at how the formative years made the man. The result is not a pat answer underlined with some snappy lyrics. It is a convincing and inspiring portrait of a man who was not easy to know.

Twenty five hours of unreleased interviews provide a voice-over for the film. We focus on the period from childhood to when Nirvana attain recognition. These formative years, together with Cobain's own words, give us a feeling for how his music developed. More importantly, they show the pressures on his character. In almost a crucible of personal hell (in spite of the bravado in what he says), Kurt Cobain forged a telling sincerity of expression. That expression of someone who has little choice.

Cobain acknowledges many influences, including Led Zepplin, Kiss, AC/DC and the Cars, as well as more obscure bands. But his key experiment was based on mixing seemingly irreconcilable genres. "How successful do you think a band could be if they mixed really heavy Black Sabbath with the Beatles?" he asks.

Some bands had approached elements of this already. Zepplin used strident contrasting sections: gentle harmonies would alternate with heavy metal sections. Nirvana invoked not just musical contrasts but extreme disparities of mood and lyrics. Many of their songs flip in a split second from gentle, sensitive, caring sing-along-with-your-mum words - to an extreme violence of sound and imagery. "Come as you are, as a friend," takes on a horrific edge in subsequent verses. The shock value has been duplicated since (usually in a less extreme way) in the structure of music and lyrics by many rock bands, and even seems to filter down to pop groups such as Rihanna and Morningwood.

We could equally wonder if it was just part of a general music drift. But the film's insights help even an untrained ear to analyse the trends and Nirvana's role in them.

Cobain's life gave him plenty to draw on. Isolated, homeless (in the middle of winter), suffering from ADD and later manic-depression, in his dark night of the soul we can see that his love of music was his only interest. Living in a backwater of Seattle, the only possessions he valued were his artistic nature and the guitar that offered a possibility of expression.

There is nothing manufactured about the sound of Nirvana. Its heartfelt honesty perhaps helped to propel the group to wider audiences at a time when indie bands were being methodically sidelined by an avaricious industry. In reaching a wider public, Nirvana also helped to show it was still possible for an unknown band to break through the seemingly invincible wall that dictated what was acceptable.

The film's cinematography, still and moving images of the places and sorts of people that populated Cobain's early life, cleverly and almost imperceptibly adds flesh to the raw bones. The bleak Aberdeen backwater. Sleeping under bridges. Spending time in libraries to keep warm. Eventually meeting middle-class youngsters who populate an unsettlingly different world. All through this, the idea for him of simply making enough money to survive was "awesome." Cobain is maybe an extreme example of the double-edged angst felt by many young people. "I was such a nihilistic jerk half the time," he says. "I'm so f*cking sarcastic at times then at other times I'm so vulnerable and so sincere, and that's pretty much how every song comes out - it's a mixture of both of them and that's pretty much how most people my age are – they're sarcastic one minute then caring the next." Since the nihilism pervades all of the interviews except where he speaks of music, it is reasonable to believe, against his claims, that he didn't change much. "I'm p*ssed off about everything in general and so all these songs are pretty much about my battle with things that p*ss me off."

The words are inelegant and he (technically) contradicts himself on occasion. But the general sense comes through. It is one of the special gifts of cinema to be able to show the bigger picture by putting words in different settings, juxtaposing them with images, to give meanings that could otherwise be missed.

Perhaps Cobain is at his most articulate when talking about privacy and the intrusion of the paparazzi. If people believe they have a 'right' to know everything about a celebrity's life, "Then I have a right to try and change that view," he says.

Cobain was a tragic character who found happiness in so little and yet affected his artistic field greatly. Schnack's portrait will not satisfy fans that want a pop video of Nirvana songs. It doesn't feature a single one (even though it will increase subsequent enjoyment and appreciation of their music.) Neither will it satisfy the gore-hounds who want to endlessly debate whether his death was suicide or not. Yet somewhere in the misery of Cobain's life was born a spark of creative fire that was far more important. It is hard to imagine how this film could have been less commercial or more true to the quest for that flame.


45 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
layne staley mottrn6
Untitled Kurt Cobain Project (2009)... preach-boy
Does anyone know what his stomach pains were (in a medical diagnosis) theprecious216
SOUNTRACK Songs? blueorangeusa2
What a crappy title... korfafla
This Is A Documentary dmonies1990
Discuss Kurt Cobain About a Son (2006) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?