14 December 2013 | DhavalVyas
A Largely Cynical Look at the Life and Death of Kurt Cobain
When grunge rock star Kurt Cobain committed suicide in the spring of 1994, it catapulted a pop celebrity into an American Icon. Cobain was the founder and front man of Nirvana - a Seattle-based band that introduced to the public, virtually overnight, a different form of music, clothing, and even lifestyle. His death was a very sad event, and the MTV media took full advantage of this, transforming Cobain into an almost martyr-like figure. This image has worked, as Cobain has become the most successful dead celebrity (even surpassing Elvis)! This short documentary takes a different kind of approach to Cobain's life and his last few days alive. It looks at him from the perspective of those who weren't all too impressed with Cobain and his music. The narrator (who is also the director) takes a harsh tone from the very beginning. He calls Cobain a "loser" who "blew his brains out". I think I understand why the director used this approach; he wanted to get rid of the hero-worshiping of Cobain and look at him more realistically. The final result is a very fascinating documentary that reveals information that most people would not have known about.
1. Cobain did not take strong action in order to relieve his drug addiction. His drug addiction was largely reported, but even his drug councilor said Cobain didn't really want to stay away from drugs.
2. It is most likely a myth that Cobain lived under a bridge for a period of time. Even though Cobain claimed he did, nobody else confirms this.
3. Cobain was vocal about many of the aspects of being a celebrity, but it was his own conscious decision to go on MTV shows and play at large festivals.
4. The conspiracy theories claiming Cobain was murdered are largely put to rest. Numerous people who knew Cobain (even Courtney Love) expressed how they saw major suicidal tendencies in him months (years?) before his death.
5. The original mix of the 'In Utero' album really impressed a number of people, but the record company hated and forced Nirvana to do a retake.
The way this documentary is presented can also be seen as "poking fun" at the whole Nirvana affair. The interviewees are presented as oddballs, outcasts, and even drug addicts like Cobain. A number of the interviewees talk about how they were unimpressed with Cobain and his music, and it was almost some kind of inexplicable mistake that Nirvana became such a large band. Even Nirvana fans are presented as goofs who were somehow conned into the Cobain myth.
The director might have taken a harsh approach, but in doing this, he painted a one of the most realistic pictures of a man who has undeservedly become a legend.