Cobain: Montage of Heck

Cobain: Montage of Heck
  • 2015
  • US
  • 2h 12min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Brett Morgen
  • Written by: Brett Morgen
  • Cast: Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, Krist Novoselic
  • UK release: 10 April 2015

Documentary about the Nirvana frontman, mixing home movie footage, music videos, talking heads of his nearest and dearest and animated drawings from his sketchbooks. Full of insight, imagination and energy, but the furious collaging is sometimes exhausting; with fewer bells and whistles it would have had even more impact.

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***"The most intimate rock doc ever"* - ROLLING STONE** Kurt Cobain, lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter of Nirvana, remains an icon 20 years after his death. This acclaimed documentary is a journey through Cobains life and his career with Nirvana through the lens of his home movies, recordings, artwork, photography, and journals. It also includes interviews with his Nirvana bandmates Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl, and his widow, Courtney Love, of the band Hole.

Hailed as one of the most innovative and intimate documentaries of all time experience Kurt Cobain like never before in the only ever fully authorised portrait of the famed music icon. Academy Award nominated filmmaker Brett Morgen expertly blends Cobain's personal archive of art, music, never seen before movies, animation and revelatory interviews from his family and closest friends. Wildly creative and highly acclaimed, follow Kurt from his earliest years in this visceral and detailed cinematic insight of an artist at odds with his surroundings. Plus, in an exclusive interview for cinema audiences, Brett Morgen discusses his unprecedented, intimate access to Cobain's family and past.

Montage of Heck *premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and makes a persuasive case for its subject without resorting to hagiography – and includes plenty of rare and unreleased footage for fans. It is directed by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Brett Morgen (The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane, The Kid Stay in the Picture, Chicago 10*).

*ICON(27) *film series:

"ICON(27)" is a brand new, two-part music film series at The Maltings Theatre & Cinema in Berwick-upon-Tweed that was created as a platform to present two outstanding music documentaries being released in 2015: ***Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck*** about the Nirvana frontman, then three months later ***Amy*** about the English singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse (screening at The Maltings in August - date TBA).

Having already achieved fame and acclaim well before the age of thirty, both Cobain and Winehouse were already music superstars, but it was their untimely - and tragic – deaths that elevated them to the status of "icon". In the hierarchy of celebrity culture, this elite tier of legends includes movie stars like James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland, as well as musicians like Frank Sinatra, and many many more.

Sadly, Cobain and Winehouse died far-too-young (in 1994 and 2011, respectively) and notably both at the age of 27. In Hollywood mythmaking and popular culture, this makes them members of the infamous "27 Club", a term that refers to a number of popular musicians who died at age 27, often as a result of drug and alcohol abuse (Winehouse) or violent means such as homicide or suicide (Cobain). Other "members" of the 27 Club include Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison (The Doors), Janis Joplin, and Brian Jones (Rolling Stones), and the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. So well known is the club that it was rumoured that Winehouse feared dying at 27.

There have been different theories and speculations about the causes of such early deaths and their possible connections. Cobain and Hendrix biographer Charles R. Cross writes, "The number of musicians who died at 27 is truly remarkable by any standard. [Although] humans die regularly at all ages, there is a statistical spike for musicians who die at 27". However, a study published in the British Medical Journal in December 2011 concluded that there was no increase in the risk of death for musicians at the age of 27. Although the sampled musicians faced an increased risk of death in their 20s and 30s, this was not limited to the age of 27. (Wikipedia)

Cast: Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Courtney Love Director: Biography | Documentary | Music Director: Brett Morgen Year: 2015 Country: USA "Morgen manages to stay clear of hagiography, instead compiling an exhilarating piece of film-making - one thats fully in keeping with Cobains virtuosity" - DAILY TELEGRAPH

"The film emphasises Cobains creativity as well as the work ethic that went alongside his well-chronicled drug use" - INDEPENDENT

"The annoying title notwithstanding, Cobain: Montage of Heck does a decent job of capturing the charisma and restless creativity of Nirvanas frontman Kurt Cobain without getting bogged down in hagiography" - THE TIMES

"Though Cobain: Montage of Heck is unlikely to be the last word on the subject - the Nirvana legend is, ironically, far too lucrative now for that - it certainly deserves to be" - SCOTSMAN

"Cobain is painted as a man who could be difficult and unpleasant, but here we see him as doting father, loving husband and someone with genuine empathy" - DIGITAL SPY

"Some Nirvana fans, who like their icons unblemished, may choose to look away. But it proves that Morgen isnt interested in hagiography. He wants to show us the real Kurt Cobain, warts and all" - ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

"As the credits roll, its hard not to just root for the sensitive, progressive, fiercely creative Cobain and wish that hed lived long enough to find a little peace of mind" - NEW YORK POST

"The definitive film on Cobain" - HEYYOUGUYS

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Reviews & features

Cobain: Montage of Heck

6 Apr 20154 stars

The late Nirvana frontman is the subject of an eye-opening documentary

This authorised but nevertheless raucous documentary builds a complex and impressively detailed picture of the Nirvana frontman's life, while stopping short of directly addressing his death. It brings together home movies, photos, the talking heads of…

Watch trailer for Kurt Cobain documentary Montage of Heck

12 Mar 2015

First authorised film about the Nirvana singer features home movies and unreleased music

Having premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, Montage of Heck has already been described as ‘the definitive Cobain documentary’. It is the first authorised film about the lead singer of Nirvana, with Courtney Love and their daughter…

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