Wow. I was already impressed by the previous Brett Morgen rockumentary Some Kind of Monster, but this one was even more moving and insightful. Kurt Corbain is probably the most enigmatic figure of my formative adult years and of many of my generation and this intimate portrait sheds so much light on the darkness of his personality which I had previously been somewhat unaware. Despite the lack of any interviews of Nirvana drummer and rock demigod Dave Grohl or Pat Smear of the Foo Fighters, the film gets first hand testimony from nearly everyone close to Corbain (his parents, his first girlfriend, Krist, and Courtney among others) and even had Francis, Kurt’s daughter, as an executive producer. The animated sequences over real audio from Kurt are haunting and powerful. The images of his notebooks and writing will also haunt me for some time to come. My lack of sympathy for Courtney Love was deepened by this documentary – she was a much darker Yoko to Kurt’s Paul, dragging him down and enabling his heroin addiction to a large degree. It is heartbreaking to see how this brilliant and happy kid turned into the angry, confused, and self-destructive mess that ended up becoming a somewhat unwilling spokesman for the grunge movement. Without spoiling anything because you really should see it for yourself, suffice it to say that your perspective on the entire Nirvana catalog will come away changed and deepened. One can only try to imagine an alternative reality where his suicidal tendencies (coming from back before Courtney, before Nirvana, before success) were treated rather than ignored.
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