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Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015)

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An authorized documentary on the late musician Kurt Cobain, from his early days in Aberdeen, Washington to his success and downfall with the grunge band Nirvana.

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Nominated for 7 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Aaron Burckhard ...
Himself (archive footage)
Chad Channing ...
Himself (archive footage)
Don Cobain ...
Himself - Kurt's Father
Jenny Cobain ...
Herself - Kurt's Stepmother
Kim Cobain ...
Herself - Kurt's Sister
...
Himself (archive footage)
Dale Crover ...
Himself (archive footage)
Jason Everman ...
Himself (credit only)
Dave Foster ...
Himself (credit only)
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Herself
Tracey Marander ...
Herself - Kurt's Girlfriend
Nirvana ...
Themselves (archive footage)
...
Himself
Wendy O'Connor ...
Herself - Kurt's Mother
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Storyline

An authorized documentary on the late musician Kurt Cobain, from his early days in Aberdeen, Washington to his success and downfall with the grunge band Nirvana.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

4 May 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to a Vanity Fair interview with Director Brett Morgen, after Frances Bean Cobain saw the film at it's Sundance premiere, Morgen escorted her back to her car. Before leaving, Cobain embraced Morgen and said, "You made the film I wanted to see." See more »

Connections

Features Over the Edge (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Lithium (Alt. Take)
Written by Kurt Cobain
Performed by Nirvana
Courtesy of Geffen Records Under License
From Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wasted potential due to Director's ego
9 May 2015 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I was hoping for this film to be great. As a Nirvana fan (most people who claim to like Nirvana have no idea what 'Incesticide' or even 'Bleach' is), I was looking forward to a thorough insight into this beloved figure who is still shrouded in a fog of misrepresentation and false hero worship. Unfortunately the film did not live up to expectations as it seemed the Director, "Brett Morgan" was more concerned in making the film aesthetically pleasing than emotionally interesting.

First off, a few positives about the film. 1. The way it portrays Courtney Love: She is despised by most music fans who believe she ruined Nirvana, but it's pretty clear that Kurt's self destruction was mostly his doing and his natural tendencies which add an appropriate sense of melancholy to the movie. 2. Some of the montages were nice when not excruciatingly overdone. 3. The music of course was good, it had a wide range from their b-sides (Dive), their first album (Mr. Moustache) and their popular stuff (Territorial Pissings) Including some fascinating covers of the Velvet Underground and the Beatles. 4. The story about Kurt and the "Retarded Girl" was absolutely fascinating.

However, the pacing of the film is truly awful. The first hour trudges along after a promising start and becomes bogged down in the Director's own agenda to show off his style. By far the best scenes in the film is just raw footage of Kurt and Courtney living alone in their dingy apartments and hotel rooms.

The film is appropriately titled, as the film is almost solely montages that don't progress the story and just serve again to stroke the Director's ego. Another example is the overuse of EXTREMELY LOUD to absolute silence.

Also, the ending of the film is not only unsatisfying, but extremely clichéd. There are countless films that have the same end title card and it felt awfully lazy. This is also disappointing because we experience none of the emotional damage that Cobains death has, which would have been far more interesting than 5 minutes of repetitive montages.

What's sad is that this film claimed to be the definitive Cobain Doco, but it's so obvious that there is plenty more interesting video and audio recordings made by Cobain HIMSELF that were left out in order to make way for dead end animation montages and hyper editing. The film could have been just as emotionally effective with 20 minutes cut from it.

However, I am still at least glad I saw the film, all the less wanky stuff was honestly well directed and Cobain's home video footage is nothing short of riveting and sometimes becomes really funny and beautiful.

So I give this film a 6. At the end of the day, I feel it would have been far more interesting just to sort through 3 hours of Cobain's home recordings than to watch a Director trying to steal the limelight from his charismatic subjects.


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