Montage Of Heck, the recent documentary about Kurt Cobain’s life, might be the most comprehensive, honest portrayal of the iconic Nirvana frontman that’s ever been done. That’s mostly due to the skillful hand of the film’s director Brett Morgen, who Courtney Love specifically tapped. V Magazine published a conversation between the two of them revealing that Love didn’t even watch the movie before it was released — she trusted Morgen completely. She also opened up about how watching the film made her feel and how it helped Frances Bean Cobain heal from her father’s death.
Love said she wanted the film to be made because it felt like the truth of what Kurt was really like hadn’t been accurately revealed:
Well, the truth. There’s been Charlie’s book [Heavier Than Heaven by Charles R. Cross], which he spent nine years researching and it has a lot of facts in it. Like, I didn’t know that Kurt had played football. Stuff I didn’t even know. And that’s great, but in terms of something people could experience on a more visceral level than a book, I wanted there to be a film. No one knew Kurt was funny. And that’s ridiculous. He was ridiculously funny.
She also discussed her strong response after finally watching Montage Of Heck:
It fucked me up. I remembered the sexual relationship, which, as you know, is the core of any good marriage. It almost rendered other intimacies meaningless. I remembered how much I love him, and it made me really think about a few other people I don’t want to name, but a few other people I’ve been in love with. And should I have married them? The answer is actually no. Nobody else was as funny. Nobody was as compatible and got my jokes. And you can see it in the film. Neither of us really liked the whole “Courtney is the bad guy” thing. He fucking hated it as much as I did because it shamed him, it emasculated him, and it made him look weak. He is considered to be the rock star who didn’t want fame, the weak pathetic guy who was taken over by this controlling female, and yadda yadda. It kind of fucked me up, and to be honest with you, I don’t have a boyfriend right now, so I’m single. [The film] made me really evaluate what, at the age of 50, I want out of a relationship. He’s a hard act to follow. I love him and I always will.
But even more importantly, she feels like the film helped Frances — who served as executive producer — come to terms with her father’s death in a new way:
I didn’t want to see it. [My agency] said, “You cannot go to Sundance and promote this film if you don’t go see it.” So I really had to man up, and I asked Frances [Bean Cobain] to come with me and she didn’t want to see it a second time because it had been, for her own reasons, harsh on her. He died when she was a year and a half old, so she doesn’t know him except for the way the public knows him. It was such a public death, and for that generation it was the JFK moment, if you will. Everyone knows where they were. So, to see it in that room with my daughter was very cathartic and I was very happy to spend a little time with him and to find out, to see things and hear audio, and see into his heart. It was an important moment of bonding between Frances and me, and I think it’s very healing for our family and for our relationship. What you’ve done, beyond making a supremely great film that’s truthful, that’s transparent, that’s got warts and all, etcetera, is that you’ve really helped a young woman come to terms with her father’s death in a way that I certainly couldn’t do and that no book could do.
For that reason alone, I’m glad this movie is in the world. Read our review of the film here.
[Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images.]