Montage of Heck: The real Kurt

cobain 3Image Source: ‘Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck‘ by Al Case

The film, produced by his daughter, Frances, revealed all about the real Kurt. Brett Morgen’s account of Cobain’s life is both sensitive and thought provoking. It answers questions, but not the kind of questions that immediately come to mind. Kurt Cobain hated the idea of fame, that much was known.

The film reveals home videos and intimate moments, often narrated by the sound of Kurt’s voice. This is a side to the icon that has never been seen before. The film is raw and edgy, much of Frances’ input is clear through the visuals of Kurt’s illustrations brought to life, which makes the screening that bit more personal.

Kurt Cobain Playing Guitar on Stage

Image Source: ‘ZYA12195538’ by Paula

The life of the creative genius is documented as a narrative with an animated twist. From his early adolescence, right the way up until the month before he died, his entire life is written in to a two hour visual. Cobain is often referred to as a troubled musician, placed on a pedestal as an icon; part of the 27 club. Montage of Heck reminds the world that he was a person.

The production of the film reflects the person Kurt seemed to be. His drawings and thoughts, taken from his diaries, illustrate the film and set the tone. A tone that seems to be quite dark and twisted. The sound of Nirvana’s music accompanies his story, with many fans referring to him as “the voice of a generation”. However, after watching the film it can be said that this is never what Kurt aspired to be.

The film is honest, and sensitive. It seems that many people fail to remember that Cobain was not just a world famous musician. He was a son, a friend, a husband and a father. This is what the film so brilliantly demonstrates – yes, Cobain battled with a drug addiction but this was not the sole reason for his suicide.

The picture does not shift blame on to anyone for Kurt’s death, unlike many previous films documenting his life. Many of those who are convinced his death was not a suicide may argue this is because Frances Bean was pulling the strings. Although, the film is narrated by Kurt himself, and close friends and family members. Courtney Love even makes an appearance, and the footage of both her and Kurt resonate the idea of a corrupt kind of love.

Montage of Heck is not an insight in to how Cobain died, which sets it apart from the rest. This is a series of personal accounts paying tribute to the person Kurt was, and also the music he is so famously credited for. His creative genius is celebrated, in a way that so fantastically reflects him.


Image Source: ‘Kurt Cobain‘ by Carlos Andrés Restrepo Vergara

For many fans this film is the closest they will get to knowing who Kurt really was, and the drug addiction side of his fame that later came to define how he was remembered. The film is not all about his music, nor is there focus on the tragedy of losing him… not what most people would have expected.

The film ends before his suicide, because that is not the image of Kurt that Montage of Heck wishes to develop.

This is art, a creative masterpiece to pay homage to a young man whom divulged a layer of personalities to the world.

As the film drew to a close, I pondered how great it’d be to have the same kind of footage of my life… except imagine how immensely boring that would be.

You can purchase Montage of Heck for £8.99 at HMV.