Kurt Cobain – A Montage of Heck

I am a biopic/documentary fanatic, especially when the subject in question involves death, murder, and/or conspiracy theories. We all know the mythological character that was Kurt Cobain, his life tale is one of those stories that will forever be steeped in romanticism, tragedy and judgement. So naturally ‘Kurt Cobain – A montage of Heck’ was a must watch for me.

It’s an eclectic multimedia mix of all the fragments of Kurt’s life strung together to give us an understanding of who he was. It shows him in many lights: the poet, painter, father and lost boy. It very much focuses on his artistry and methods of self expression. The style in which the documentary was made was a personification of him. It was like an art piece, the documentary was Kurt. It is one of the best documentaries I have seen that in its direction and execution fully embodies the spirit of the subject. It was incredibly intense and intimate, almost hard to watch at times.

When first introduced to the cartoon/graphic novel style, we hear a teenage Kurt telling us about when he went down to the train tracks in his hometown, he lay down and placed a slab of concrete on his chest, cementing himself in on the track waiting for the next train  – What happened next seems to be one of those ‘too good to be true’ moments that usually exist in the stories of extraordinary people, for me it creates an air that this is fate at play. He was destined to share his talent. All in all, he is a man of many contradictions, we all know how his story ends, this documentary made me think – Did he simply give up on seeking the nirvana he longed for, or in fact achieve it and found there was nothing to else live for. 

The reason why I have a deep interest and respect for characters like Kurt Cobain, weather they are drug addicts, serial killers or whatever, they live in truth. Whether your truth aligns with theirs or not is irrelevant. Someone like Kurt lived in honesty, did what he wanted and stuck by his guns (pun slightly intended), like all successful people they pursue their thoughts and turn them into actions. I admire that.

This documentary is a rummage through someone’s diary, it felt a bit wrong to be there but you couldn’t helped but become absorbed in the innermost thoughts of someone’s mind when they didn’t think anyone is listening. It made me wonder, if anyone picked up my notebooks and tried to ‘figure me out’ how would they interpret the endless list of client amends and sporadic CYMK codes dotted throughout. They might think I’m some kind of highly self critical mathematical genius.

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TV STILL -- DO NOT PURGE -- HBO DOCUMENTARY STILL -- KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK: Previously unseen image of Cobain at home. photo: The End of Music, LLC/courtesy of HBO

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KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK photo: Brett Morgen/courtesy of HBO

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Rosie Mossey |Junior Designer

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