Brett Morgen claims his documentary portrays the Nirvana frontman 'in a complete naked and honest manner'
The fully-authorised documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January but will arrive in UK cinemas this spring. It will receive its US television premiere on HBO on May 4. Cobain’s daughter Frances Bean Cobain served as an executive producer on the project.
In a clip exclusive to NME, director Morgen describes the film as “an immersive ride through Kurt’s life”. Scroll below to watch the interview in full.
Morgen adds: “From the moment Kurt Cobain burst into the public scene with ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ there has been an absolute cultural obsession with Kurt. But Kurt had very limited interactions with media during his lifetime and so the public’s perception of Kurt, for the most part for the last 25 years, has been very steeped in mythology, projection and fantasy. With ‘Montage Of Heck’, audiences for the first time are going to meet Kurt Cobain.”
Morgen also explains the title of the film, which refers to a cassette tape of Cobain’s that the director found, itself entitled ‘Montage Of Heck’. “I heard this tape and it felt like a portal into Kurt’s mind,” said the filmmaker.
“You literally go through life with Kurt Cobain in this film and you go through it in his eyes and through his experiences. That’s really rare in a documentary.”
Morgen continues: “It was a unique opportunity to do something that has never been done, to present an American icon in a complete naked and honest manner without bringing him down or building him up but where we can look him in the eye.”
Morgen revealed earlier this month (March) that Cobain: Montage of Heck will feature a previously unheard 12-minute long acoustic Kurt Cobain track. Speaking previously to Rolling Stone, Morgen said that the film’s score “is all unreleased Cobain music”.
However, noticeably absent from Cobain: Montage of Heck is Cobain’s former Nirvana bandmate Dave Grohl, who was interviewed for the documentary too late for his contributions to be included in the current edit, Morgen explained in January.