2015 Sundance Docs in Focus: KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK

kurt cobainBrett Morgen returns to Park City to bring his latest film to the Documentary Premieres section: KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK, an in-depth, intimate portrait of the iconic Nirvana frontman.

Sundance Program Description:

Experience Kurt Cobain like never before in the first fully authorized portrait of the famed rock music icon. Director Brett Morgen expertly blends Cobain’s personal archive of art, music, and never-before-seen home movies with animation and revelatory interviews with his family and closest confidantes. Following Kurt from his earliest years in Aberdeen, Washington, through the height of his fame, a visceral and detailed cinematic insight of an artist at odds with his surroundings emerges.

While Cobain craved the spotlight even as he rejected the trappings of fame, his epic arc depicts a man who stayed true to his earliest punk rock convictions, always identifying with the “outsider” and ensuring the music came first.

Fans and those of the Nirvana generation will learn things about Cobain they never knew while those who have recently discovered the man and his music will know what makes him the lasting icon that he is.

Some Background:
Director/producer/screenwriter/editor Brett Morgen is no stranger to Park City, having debuted several of his previous films, including CHICAGO 10 (2007), THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE (2002), and ON THE ROPES (1999, special jury prize). Joining Morgen as producer here is Danielle Renfrew Behrens, a fellow Sundance alum as producer of THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES (2012), AMERICAN SON (2008), NOVEMBER (2004), and GROOVE (2000), and executive producer of WAITRESS (2007). Executive producers include Cobain’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain; veteran music executive Larry Mestel; attorney and The End of Music manager David Byrnes; and Dave Morrison. Representing HBO Documentary Films are executive producer Sheila Nevins, whose Sundance credits include fellow 2015 titles GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF, LARRY KRAMER IN LOVE & ANGER, and THE JINX: THE LIFE AND DEATHS OF ROBERT DURST, as well as last year’s US Documentary Directing Award winner THE CASE AGAINST 8, CAPTIVATED, and PRIVATE VIOLENCE; and senior producer Sara Bernstein, whose most recent Sundance projects include THE CASE AGAINST 8, WHICH WAY IS THE FRONT LINE FROM HERE? (2013), 12TH & DELAWARE(2010) and SECRETS OF THE TRIBE (2010).

Why You Should Watch:
Morgen, who has demonstrated his music doc credentials with his most recent film, CROSSFIRE HURRICANE, a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones, has been working on this project for eight years. Featuring a treasure trove of personal archival material, including unreleased music, Morgen’s documentary is the first Cobain film to be made with the participation of his family, making it the definitive portrait of the legendary musician, who passed too soon in 1994.

More Info:
While there is no standalone website for the documentary yet, more information about director Brett Morgen is available at his website. As they become available, I’ll link to upcoming features, such as Indiewire‘s filmmaker interviews and the film’s website and trailer. For screening dates and times at Sundance, click the link in the first paragraph.

To experience the festival through the eyes of this year’s filmmakers, follow my Sundance filmmaker class of 2015 Twitter list.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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