Finding the real Kurt Cobain: a conversation with documentary director Brett Morgen

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The Sundance documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck is far from a traditional biopic. Directed by Brett Morgen, the filmmaker behind movies like The Kid Stays in the Picture and the Rolling Stones documentary Crossfire Hurricane, it eschews conventional narrative in an attempt to bring audiences inside the mind of Cobain through his paintings, personal recordings, journals, and some disturbing home video footage. I saw a lot of documentaries at Sundance this year, and Montage of Heck was my favorite by far.

I sat down with Morgen during the festival to talk about the origins of the project, the absence of Dave Grohl (he appears only in archival footage), and a striking animated sequence which uses CobainÂ’s recorded recollection of…

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