Don’t Miss It: “Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck” Airs Tonight On HBO

Set your DVR. Tonight at 9 p.m., HBO will premiere “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck,” a documentary about the Nirvana frontman produced by his daughter Frances Bean Cobain, and trust me, you do not want to miss it. I got a chance to see the film on Friday and have not stopped thinking about it since. The documentary’s creative and deeply moving approach allowed Kurt, who committed suicide in 1994, to recount much of his life, with supporting interviews with family members and friends.

At times, the film’s use of amazingly edited and never-before-seen personal videos, including footage from Kurt as a child and tapes that he and wife Courtney Love recorded during their marriage and at the height of their drug use, felt so intimate it was almost painful. Also astonishing are Kurt’s audio diaries which accompany and inspire beautiful rendered animations depicting his troubled teenage years. Kurt’s own artwork and journal entries also feature prominently through the film, and are brought to life with animation as well.

At no point does “Montage of Heck” feel exploitative, nor does it place its subject on a pedestal. In the years since Cobain’s untimely passing, much has been written and said but very little has been truly understood, resulting in a romanticized portrait of what drove him both in life and towards death. “Montage of Heck” is anything but, giving starkly nuanced insights into the man behind the icon. It’s a beautiful, heartbreaking film from start to finish. [HBO]