Today was the day that I’ve been looking forward to for many months now, it was Montage of Heck day!
As a big Nirvana fan and a big Kurt Cobain fan in general, I had high expectations about the new documentary film directed by Brett Morgen, especially after seeing the 2-minute trailer online. It was safe to say that MoH did not disappoint in the slightest.
The first few minutes of the film concentrated on Nirvana’s performance at Reading Festival 1992, showing Kurt famously fall to the ground after singing the first couple of lines of hit US song at the time, ‘The Rose’. This shot of him lying on the Berkshire stage set the scene for the next couple of hours, there is no question about that.
Following a chronological structure of Cobain’s life, the film sees itself spanning in and out of Kurt’s drawings that have been brought to life, cartoon-make ups of himself recording on his tape recorder and never-before-seen footage of Cobain and wife, Courtney Love at their apartment during their heroine-fuelled period of romance, in which daughter Frances Bean Cobain was conceived.
These moments of art are treated with such care, the way you feel Kurt would have wanted them to be handled, even if some of the drawings are more than disturbing. I’m hoping I won’t have horrific nightmares tonight after seeing a foot come out of a pregnant woman’s stomach and viciously kick a man in head, and seeing a skeleton creating fire, but referred to in a way which suggests it is masturbating ferociously.
From saying all this though, this must have been what Kurt’s mind was like all the time. The stomach pains, the drugs and the rock n roll lifestyle does not help, but he was a troubled soul more than anything, and I believe that was the real message put across here to the general public.
There was the running theme throughout of Kurt despising humiliation and always striving for perfection with his art, constantly accompanied by the song choices depicting anger, such as ‘Breed’ and ‘Scentless Apprentice’. As well as this, the film often cuts to demonstrations of the writings in his famous journal, including diary-type expressions and song lyrics that are always being tweaked, and ultimately being perfected. Books have been published on these works before but showing them in the film that Kurt Cobain would have enjoyed if it weren’t for his passing is an even better reason.
I don’t want to give too much away, as it’s one of those films for the cult fans, and it doesn’t end how you’d expect it to!
I would give the film a strong 9 out of 10, purely for it being a truly special piece of cinema to view, and an incredibly devout insight into one of the worlds’ most talented musicians of the past life, and also, Brett Morgen favourited two of my tweets, so that’s an added bonus!