This past Sunday (5) marked the 21st anniversary of the passing of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Nirvana and Cobain’s impact on music can’t be understated. Over the course of three studio albums, the band set the tone for ’90s alternative, laid the groundwork for Dave Grohl to move on with Foo Fighters, and brought Cobain’s wife Courtney Love into the spotlight. Many 30 and 40-somethings can remember where they were when they heard Cobain died, much like their parents did when they heard Kennedy was shot. The new documentary Montage of Heck, which is premiering to HBO on May 4, should trigger feelings of nostalgia in those people, as well as give an intimate look at an artist that many Nirvana fans might not have even known much about when he was alive.
The film was made with the cooperation of Courtney Love and their daughter Frances Bean Cobain (who’s an executive producer), who granted director Brett Morgen access to his journals, home video footage and tape recordings. A new trailer for the film animates Cobain’s artwork from his journals. It’s a surreal, trippy way to get inside the artist’s head. Among the art spotlighted in the trailer, Buckwheat and a puppet Ernie playing drums for a Ronald Reagan-fronted band called The Reaganites, an Elvis Presley/Alice Cooper hybrid, “Elvis Cooper,” lists of songs, and perhaps most interestingly, a page proclaiming “Oh our final name is Nirvana.” Given all that Cobain accomplished in his relatively short life, Montage of Heck promises to be riveting for fans of the band.
Montage of Heck premieres on Monday, May 4 on HBO.