The director of the upcoming Kurt Cobain documentary says it features scenes that the Nirvana singer would have been embarrassed to let his mother see.
Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck director Brett Morgen says he warned Kurt’s mother Wendy O’Connor about some of the scenes in the film , including Cobain discussing his drug use and intimate footage of him and his wife Courtney Love.
Morgen tells Rolling Stone: “When I showed Wendy the film for the first time, I told her there were things that no mother should see. And it was very difficult and painful for me to show her some of the stuff in the third act of the film.
“I know that she would prefer that not be in the movie, and I don’t blame her. Even seeing him having intimate relations with Courtney — I don’t think Kurt would have wanted Wendy to see that.
“But we weren’t trying to bring him down. We were trying to look him in the eye. I didn’t want to humiliate him. I don’t think there has ever been, or will ever be, another movie about an icon that’s this raw or intimate.”
One scene shows Cobain taking his baby daughter Frances Bean for a haircut, and the singer appears to be in the grip of heroin addiction. Morgen says he had to convince Kurt’s sister Kim to allow the footage to make it into the final edit.
He says: “Kim said to me, ‘My brother was very embarrassed about his heroin use. Do you think he would want this in the film?’ And I said, ‘You know, one thing you’ve always told me is that your brother’s worst fear was that he would influence people to do heroin.’
“And for the last 22 years, Kurt’s been associated with heroin, but nobody’s seen the ill effects of it. I’m not a social documentarian, I’m not trying to make a message film — but I’d like to think that scene could serve as a deterrent. So I said, ‘What if, 20 years after your brother’s death, he is able to save a life? What if one person sees that movie and decides not to do smack? What greater legacy, posthumously, could we give Kurt?’”
The film is the first authorised biography of Cobain, who took his own life in 1994 at the age of 27. Love and the couple’s daughter Frances Bean Cobain gave Morgen access to hours of previously unseen home video and its soundtrack is made entirely of rare music performed by Kurt.
Morgen adds: “The score is all unreleased Cobain music. They don’t have titles. Before people saw the movie, there were these weird press releases focusing on the unreleased music. And it’s like: It’s a movie. We’re not going to stop it and play a song for four minutes.”
Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck premieres on US channel HBO in May and will be given a cinema release win the UK soon after. It was screened at last month’s Sundance Film Festival.