Brett Morgen’s Kurt Cobain documentary Montage of Heck—which will premiere on HBO later this year—is probably one of the most intimate portraits of the enigmatic rock star. The film was made with full cooperation from Cobain’s wife Courtney Love and daughter France Bean and features a plethora of never-before-seen archival footage, audio, diary entries, drawings and more.
[Executive producer Frances] wanted a film that humanized Kurt—that wasn’t St. Kurt or Kurt the Celebrity Rock Star, but Kurt the Man,” Morgen tells The Daily Beast. “The focus for me changed after I met Frances to wanting to create a film that would allow her to have a couple hours with her father that she never had. Because Kurt died when she was two, she has no memories of him. I thought if it worked for her on that level, it would work for other people.”
Inspired by Cobain’s mix tapes, the structure of the film—which features a hodgepodge of animated pieces, interviews, archival footage and much more—is meant to reflect its subject matter. “The whole film was intended to be the filmic equivalent of Kurt’s aesthetic,” Morgen says. “The film can be ear-piercingly loud and then very soft and gentle, and it’s a metaphor for Nirvana’s music.”
Ultimately, Morgen set out to demystify a music icon who has taken on legendary status since his suicide twenty years ago. “It’s not a movie about a scene, or a group of cool people. It’s a movie about a boy. It’s a boy trying to find connection, and trying to find love,” he says.
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