I finally was able to catch a screening of the highly talked about new documentary on Kurt Cobain. Directed and produced by Brett Morgan with the help of Cobain’s daughter Frances Bean Cobain, who supplied material to be compiled together with old mixed tapes Cobain had made, titled Montage of Heck.
It starts off with a brilliant intro with rare vintage TV clips perfectly timed with one of Nirvana’s greatest tracks, bringing out the vocal isolation like we have never heard it before. We see Cobain’s childhood drawings and journals, listen to his mother talk of her son. Speaking as well as are his usually distant father and step-mother – well, actually, his father Donald Cobain was still rather speechless, nervous and uncomfortable looking, which was quite sad.
Near the end I thought to myself, This has been some great quality sound and footage, but what has really been the point of this mass production of endless live shows, which had previously been released? I, too, thought about how this was supposed to feature the mixed tapes Cobain had made, titled Montage of Heck, and yet we hear so little of it. By the one-hour-and-forty-five-minute mark I was starting to feel the shift of the film now focusing on Cobain’s drug addiction and apparent self-loathing via his journals, which are presented more to the viewer as a diary rather than song lyrics – which they seem to be, as you can see he has scribbled out lines and rewritten them a few times. Typical of his song-writing journals, but not his diaries.
Soon video footage appears with Cobain completely out of it: it is Frances’ first hair cut and as odd as this sounds, Eric Erlandson, Courtney’s ex-boyfriend and Hole guitarist is filming Cobain in this condition while he is holding Frances, he nods off for a moment and when he lifts his head he apologizes for being so tired (aware the camera is on him). Love then says into the camera, “Kurt, don’t let our daughter see you behaving like this, on drugs.” He is taken back by her statement, he stares at her shocked and says “I am not on drugs, I’m tired.”
The film should have been titled Montage of My Mother’s Theory. Once Love enters Cobain’s life, the film continuously shows how the tabloids were not very kind to Love and she herself drops names like bombs whenever the opportunity arises.
Then it happened: The reason behind the making of this film finally appears. Love sits on a sofa smoking and telling yet another story about the Rome incident. This has to be about the 10th new version. While I am personally blown away with what came out of her mouth this time, I will not spoil it here.
The viewer is immediately shown script from People magazine regarding the “overdose” in Rome. I found that to be quite odd considering that the story featured in People was lifted from an interview Love herself gave.
We are shown a “last” will and testimony, followed by more lyric sheets containing phrases “So kill yourself!” and “The finest day that I ever had / Was when tomorrow never came”. He used the lyrics “The finest day that I ever had / Was when I learned to cry on command” in the song ‘On a Plain’. A note is shown with the words “Kill Yourself” written 10 times, these words are followed by “Rape is good” and “Drugs are good”. You can see through the sheet of paper and can make out the writing on the other side. Again it appears to be a song. Lyrics about television, radio and movies.
This was a bullshit “I got your back, mom” movie; very well done but it is still just previously released footage in better quality until the ulterior motive footage shows up.
Someone really needed to get this Montage of My Mother’s Theory out to the public before Tom Grant’s Soaked In Bleach is released, but his tapes will change the minds of all who watched this film and Love’s new – and also old – versions of the Rome incident.
Love can not deny it is her on the audio tapes Grant has regarding the Rome incident in which she tells a much different story. And why was a Eric filming Kurt high as a kite in their home? Could it have to do with the divorce Love and Cobain were arguing about toward the end? I’m sure Love could have used that footage to her advantage, her good friend Eric always there to help out.
Someone should pay Eric Erlandson a hefty sum to write a tell all book. I’d love to read that!