I had been wanting to see this for a while, but was not able to find it on DVD or elsewhere, so when I found it on Netflix in the “just added” category I immediately watched it (just after finishing Death Race 2000).
It is a well made documentary of Kurt’s life from birth to his death in 1994 (only a few weeks before Ayrton Senna’s death…bad year). There is a lot of archival footage which mostly came directly from his family, along with audio recorded by Kurt before his Nirvana days. There are also interviews with his mother, father, sister, ex-girlfriend, Krist Novoselic, and Courtney Love of course (this documentary was her idea). Dave Grohl was interviewed for the documentary, but for various reasons he was left out.
Kurt was obviously talented early on, but also quite troubled due to his personality and family troubles. Things only got worse when Nirvana got big, and he met Courtney.
There were many shots of pages from his diaries and notebook scribbles (done through some nifty animations) that showed just how disturbed he was, it was hard to read at times.
Buzz Osboune, a close friend of Kurt’s, and the founding member of The Melvins criticised this film, saying it was “90% bullshit”. However, Krist came out saying Buzz talks like that sometimes, so who knows what to believe. There were some animated scenes depicting what Kurt had wrote about in his diary that did seem just a bit too far fetched, and from what I have read about Kurt it seems to be nothing more than his dark humour.
As the film nears the end it gets quite depressing, especially in the home videos taken by Courtney showing an obviously drugged-up Kurt. The scene where they give baby Frances Bean her first haircut is a downer.
So it is a fascinating, sometimes hard to believe, and ultimately sad look at the life of Kurt Cobain. After you finish watching this, put In Utero on the turntable to cheer yourself up.
Date watched: January 25th
Film count 2018: 5