Since his devastating suicide on April 5, 1994, an indigestible bucket of barfable documentaries about Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain have somehow been distributed. Despite capturing the final moments of the buggy life of El Duce Kurt And Courtney made filmmaker Nick Broomfield look like a foolish foreign twat as the confrontational Brit's depiction of a scenario where Courtney Love, wife and mother of Cobain's child, took part in the murder of the singer, electrified Love with such disgust that she had the flick yanked from the Sundance Film Festival in 1998. Even with acclaimed director of Drugstore Cowboy Gus Van Sant sitting two rows behind me at the 2005 Seattle International Film Festival, I effortlessly snored like an intoxicated razorback through Last Days, the drawn out drip of jejune Morphine that featured Kim Gordon in a weird cameo.
Rising to the surface of an endless wash of watered down Nirvana documentaries, Kurt Cobain About A Son articulates the almighty arc of the one of rock and roll's biggest and most beloved figures with a slideshow of random strangers, landmark locations, visual reenactments and graphic scoring to remarkable one-on-one audio tapes of interesting, sober conversations between Kurt Cobain and Michael Azerrad, former contributing editor for Rolling Stone whose famous article on Nirvana featured Kurt in his homemade shirt that read "Corporate Magazines Still Suck".
Although you can hear Nirvana music on Cold Case, Lost, and in the movie Jarhead, Kurt's voice is the driving force behind this emotional journey of a rascally youth who plummets into a manic depressive teenage rut only to emerge as the insurgent rock star of a generation who fatefully blasts his way to celebrated genius status. Director AJ Schnack, the Brooklyn lens crafter responsible for Gigantic (A Tale Of Two Johns) did a terrific job splicing hours of intimate declarations with dazzling cinematography and graphic art from Tomorrow's Brightest Minds.
Pacific Northwest posse of producer Steve Fisk, who produced 1990's Blew EP, along with Washingtonian Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie, provide tender audio for Schnack's infinite transitions. Gibbard's original recording of "Indian Summer" on the film's soundtrack adds a sprinkle of freshness to an impenetrable history of rock.
Barsuk Records scrambled a scrumptious batch of off kilter Cobain favorites including Melvins, Butthole Surfers, and R.E.M. The flimsy twang of chords at the start of Arlo Guthrie's "Motorcycle" is a direct inspiration for "Hairspray Queen" on Incesticide, a track that also licks the blotter from the tongues of Scratch Acid. The space seriousness of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold The World" adds clever validity to Kurt's belief as a youngster that he was an alien from another planet, wanting so badly to be with those other aliens, a belief which provided the first line in "Territorial Pissings".
Throughout this tearful message from the grave I wanted Kurt to never stop speaking. His answers were crisp and articulate. Azerrad captured the soft-spoken Cobain truthfully betraying his negative creep persona smacked onto him by the spineless media. Schnack and company provide a stealthy peek into the turbulent reality of a musical revolutionary trapped inside a defective body of incurable pain for twenty-seven years.
Cobain's willingness to defy even his own beliefs while genuinely confiding in Azerrad, author of Come As You Are: The Story Of Nirvana, is the irreplaceable magic of this precious potion. "Fuck them," Kurt told Azerrad, while explaining how fucking much he despises journalists, declaring that an artist's life outside of their work should remain worthless to a reporter. "They don't need to know everything about me." It was that very same thought which forbade me from giving a pube of attention to Journals, the 280-page collection of Kurt's voyage on this planet, despicably published in 2002.
During one interview Kurt literally chomps through the recording like Brad Pitt on the other end of Edward Norton's desperate call in Fight Club. When Krist and Kurt finally became a band, vowing to cover Credence Clearwater Revival songs as The Sellouts, pools of rotten tears clogged my stoned eyes at the blistering kick-start of "Up Around The Bend."
The second time tears were choked back was during the delicate parting of ways between two artists who came together for what has become an endless project of importance which has significantly cemented my belief that Kurt Donald Cobain of Aberdeen, Washington will forever be celebrated as my generation's fucked up Jesus.
"Goodbye Michael." says to his biographer and friend.
"Goodbye Kurt," Azerrad says before his final communication with the most significant figure in the history of rock music ends forever with a stunning click into the darkness of time.