The November 13, 2015 Blu-Ray, DVD, and "Super Deluxe" home video releases of the uber-awesome (and equally comprehensive) multi-Emmy nominated HBO documentary "Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck" from Universal Music Enterprises (UME) is part of a November trifecta of a tribute to this textbook troubled young genius. UME is releasing the soundtrack for the documentary on the same day, and the new 7-inch single that features "And I Love Her" and "Sappy" which is an early demo. are coming out on November 20, 2015. Any of these make great gifts for a Cobain and/or Nirvana fan.
The following YouTube clip of the SPOILER-LADEN trailer for "Montage" nicely showcases the raw and probing nature of the film. It is guaranteed that it will tell you more about Cobain in a few minutes than you know about most people in your life.
"Montage" beginning with the mother of Cobain discussing her courtship with his father and the subsequent birth of the future Nirvana front man is the first of many indications of the aforementioned comprehensive nature of the film. Soon seeing the actual birth certificate of Cobain, his early drawings, and extensive home-movie footage (including shots of a toddler Cobain rocking out with a toy guitar) is one of the first indications of the truly multi-media nature of this documentary. Later seeing skillfully drawn animation and images of writings that express the truly innermost thoughts of Cobain shows that the theme of comprehensiveness extends to the media that film maker Brett Morgen, who is a also the director of the 2002 Robert Evans documentary "The Kid Stays in the Picture," utilizes in this tribute to his fascinating subject.
This character study aptly takes its time documenting how Cobain goes from being a highly creative and hyperactive child to a heroin-addicted 27 year-old who kills himself in his garage. Like many of us, a traumatic event during the childhood of Cobain and the domino effects of that development set him on his path to literal self-destruction. The audience further learns of the origins of the titular term during this portion of the film.
Said tragic path becomes very clear in candid home-video footage of Cobain in the period spanning from the period immediately before his becoming big and the era of said fame. He is almost skeletal thin and seems incapable of sitting still for more than a few minutes. Concert footage and written song lyrics and other musings further show that Cobain is deeply troubled.
Professional footage in which Cobain and his Nirvana band mates tell interviewers how much they hate being interviewed evokes thoughts both of the same expressed disdain by the members of The Monkees, a.k.a. The Prefab Four. The parallels are particularly strong in an interview that a second-season episode of "The Monkees" sitcom partially airs. Mike Nesmith and Micky Dolenz of the band essentially tell the interviewer to f**k off, but said interviewer acts as if the boys are joking. A personally horribly toxic 2009 interview with Monkee Davy Jones is additional proof of the ill will of those boys toward the nature of their fame. Jones angrily stating "you must be living in a cave if you don't know what I'm doing now" ended that conversation.
The fast-and-furious fame that Cobain achieves at the tale end of his adolescence additionally seems comparable to the challenges that child stars face. No one prepares them for the reality of being the "it" boy or girl, and they face the additional problem of the world not seeing their true self.
The home movies, which including partial frontal nudity, of Cobain's wife Courtney Love and other coverage of her add an entertaining element of sensationalism to "Montage." This relates to the (possibly unwarranted) negative public perception of Love, Love using heroin while pregnant with daughter Frances, and custody battles in which the drug use of Love and Cobain are considerations.
One of the most charming moments comes during what seems to be Nirvana acoustically playing on "MTV Unplugged." An offhand comment prompts Cobain to charmingly refer to an episode on the religious propaganda kids' show "Davey and Goliath" in which the boy around whom that series centers expresses a disturbingly violent sentiment that Cobain refers to as not being very Christian.
As hokey as it sounds, this highly intimate actual cradle-to-grave portrait of Cobain achieves what he failed to do in life. We learn all that there seems to know about the man, rather than the grunge god.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Montage" is strongly encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.