Hot Docs 2015 Review: ‘Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Hot Docs 2015, Movies by - April 23, 2015

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck

Special Presentations

Tackling the life of a rock and roll icon is always such a tricky thing.  Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck starts off strong enough giving us some unique insights into the man behind some of the more influential music of the 1990’s but it overstays its welcome and ultimately turns into a video and musical collage for the hard core fans.

The first fully authorized cinematic telling of the life of Kurt Cobain.  Through the use of archival footage, never before seen home movies, animation and words pulled from his own works we get a unique portrait of the man.  A singular kind of artist who fought with his demons just as much as his genius, and aside from the music himself this is probably the closest anyone will get to the man that was Kurt Cobain.

While it started strong, the more we get into Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck the more it turns into a group love in for the fan base.  With his daughter Frances Bean Cobain serving as an executive producer and her mother Courtney Love one of the subjects for interview their influence is very strongly felt, especially when you realize that Dave Grohl is really nowhere to be found.  While most of it is a strong bio pic with reactions from interview subjects and archival footage, the last third of the movie turns into random home movies and art from his personal archives it gets more than a little tedious as nothing happens and it devolves into a bit of a mess.

Make no mistake, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck is for the hardcore fans only and they will eat it up.  Casual fans or music appreciators don’t have to rush.

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck is screening twice at Hot Docs.

Friday Apr. 24th at 9:45PM at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

Sat. Apr. 25th at 1:15 PM at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

Both screenings have gone rush, but have no fear it opens for a regular run on May 15th at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema after the fest.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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