“Montage of Heck,” director and abstract expressionist Brett Morgen’s extraordinary doc on Kurt Cobain, played Tribeca this month followed by a chat among journalist Neil Strauss, Morgen and Courtney Love. The film opens in theaters April 24.
She said she’d felt different things while watching the movie this time around.
Among them: “Shame,” she said, sitting alongside Morgen (“I like him; I trust him”). It was her fourth trip though the movie, which debuted at Sundance, followed by Berlin and other festivals. “Usually I get sad, but I also felt guilt about what I could have done differently. The first time it was beautiful… I got to spend time with this beautiful man I was married to 21 years ago,” at which point Love and the most of the rest of us had to adjust our mascara.
Morgen who, courtesy of Love, had access to and use of all the late Nirvana star’s extant papers, recordings, drawings and Super 8 home movies, was asked by Strauss about whether it was true he’d made the film for Frances Bean, Cobain and Love’s daughter, who was 20 months old in April 1994, when her father killed himself. Morgen said their initial meeting had left a serious impression. “She said, ‘I just met you and I already know you more than I know my father,’” Morgen recalled. “I felt this was an opportunity to bridge that gap.”
The film, a kinetic, impressionistic collage of music, animation, concert footage, manipulated texts and audio memoir, was first talked about by Morgen and Love back in 2007. Morgen said that between that time and now, Frances Cobain’s cooperation helped get a lot of people on board who otherwise might not had been. Love helped, too, of course. Morgen hedged a bit. And Love just laughed.
“There was a tsunami of shit in the middle and I caused most of it,” she said. “But it’s all smooth now.”