Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck feels much like any other found footage movie. The difference, is that we already all know how this movie is going to end.
I started high school in September of 1991, and remember the extreme fervour that surrounded the release of Nirvana‘s album Nevermind. My friends and I all had Nirvana posters, sung the songs, and huddled together after his suicide. I was finishing Grade 11 when Kurt Cobain died, and I barely understood at the time what that meant for me. It was the first ‘end of an era’ that I really experienced on a personal level.
The documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck is much like the title describes. Pieced together footage from old family movies blend amongst new interviews of Courtney Love and Kris Novoselic. I think I was expecting to learn something new in this documentary, which was never really achieved. It was, however, a great encapsulation of my experience with Nirvana, and in particular, my time with main stream media.
For a movie that runs 145 minutes, one should expect to be entertained. I was for nostalgia’s sake. I was not, however, surprised by new insights into the Kurt Cobain story. For example, I know that my analysis now of Kurt and Courtney would be vastly different than it was when I was 15. At that point I thought they were just having a good time. Now I wonder what they thought they were able to offer their daughter. I feel there could have been more critical analysis done on the “why” Kurt Cobain spiralled downward the way he did.
This would be a great movie for a group of friends in their late 30s to watch at a reunion. It is not necessarily something that will invite you to ask questions. A wonderful tribute.