Watch Kurt Cobain: About a Son putlocker
||IMDB Rating: 7.4/10 from 2,925 votes
||Release: 3 October 2007 (USA) /
||Genre: Documentary, Music
||Director: AJ Schnack,
||Stars: Kurt Cobain
||Synopsis: An intimate and moving meditation on the late musician and artist Kurt Cobain, based on more than 25 hours of previously unheard audiotaped interviews conducted with Cobain by noted music journalist Michael Azerrad for his book "Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana." In the film, Kurt Cobain recounts his own life - from his childhood and adolescence to his days of musical discovery and later dealings with explosive fame - and offers often piercing insights into his life, music, and times. The conversations heard in the film have never before been made public and they reveal a highly personal portrait of an artist much discussed but not particularly well understood. Written by AJ Schnack
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Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana before his untimely death, is often
credited by music experts as being one of the most influential
musicians of his time. A claim that careful analysis demonstrates to
have much credence. Yet he seemed an unremarkable individual. Physical
and mental illness. Dropping out of high school. Habitual drug-user.
Where did he find the insights that made him such an inspiration to
other artists? Making a famous rock-star biopic must be a temptation to
fill it with crowd-pleasing footage of their songs. Then link it with
candid shots to show the 'real' person. Thankfully, Schnack has steered
an alternative course with great integrity in his pursuit for truth. He
has looked at how the formative years made the man. The result is not a
pat answer underlined with some snappy lyrics. It is a convincing and
inspiring portrait of a man who was not easy to know.
Twenty five hours of unreleased interviews provide a voice-over for the
film. We focus on the period from childhood to when Nirvana attain
recognition. These formative years, together with Cobain's own words,
give us a feeling for how his music developed. More importantly, they
show the pressures on his character. In almost a crucible of personal
hell (in spite of the bravado in what he says), Kurt Cobain forged a
telling sincerity of expression. That expression of someone who has
Cobain acknowledges many influences, including Led Zepplin, Kiss, AC/DC
and the Cars, as well as more obscure bands. But his key experiment was
based on mixing seemingly irreconcilable genres. "How successful do you
think a band could be if they mixed really heavy Black Sabbath with the
Beatles?" he asks.
Some bands had approached elements of this already. Zepplin used
strident contrasting sections: gentle harmonies would alternate with
heavy metal sections. Nirvana invoked not just musical contrasts but
extreme disparities of mood and lyrics. Many of their songs flip in a
split second from gentle, sensitive, caring sing-along-with-your-mum
words - to an extreme violence of sound and imagery. "Come as you are,
as a friend," takes on a horrific edge in subsequent verses. The shock
value has been duplicated since (usually in a less extreme way) in the
structure of music and lyrics by many rock bands, and even seems to
filter down to pop groups such as Rihanna and Morningwood.
We could equally wonder if it was just part of a general music drift.
But the film's insights help even an untrained ear to analyse the
trends and Nirvana's role in them.
Cobain's life gave him plenty to draw on. Isolated, homeless (in the
middle of winter), suffering from ADD and later manic-depression, in
his dark night of the soul we can see that his love of music was his
only interest. Living in a backwater of Seattle, the only possessions
he valued were his artistic nature and the guitar that offered a
possibility of expression.
There is nothing manufactured about the sound of Nirvana. Its heartfelt
honesty perhaps helped to propel the group to wider audiences at a time
when indie bands were being methodically sidelined by an avaricious
industry. In reaching a wider public, Nirvana also helped to show it
was still possible for an unknown band to break through the seemingly
invincible wall that dictated what was acceptable.
The film's cinematography, still and moving images of the places and
sorts of people that populated Cobain's early life, cleverly and almost
imperceptibly adds flesh to the raw bones. The bleak Aberdeen
backwater. Sleeping under bridges. Spending time in libraries to keep
warm. Eventually meeting middle-class youngsters who populate an
unsettlingly different world. All through this, the idea for him of
simply making enough money to survive was "awesome." Cobain is maybe an
extreme example of the double-edged angst felt by many young people. "I
was such a nihilistic jerk half the time," he says. "I'm so f*cking
sarcastic at times then at other times I'm so vulnerable and so
sincere, and that's pretty much how every song comes out - it's a
mixture of both of them and that's pretty much how most people my age
are they're sarcastic one minute then caring the next." Since the
nihilism pervades all of the interviews except where he speaks of
music, it is reasonable to believe, against his claims, that he didn't
change much. "I'm p*ssed off about everything in general and so all
these songs are pretty much about my battle with things that p*ss me
The words are inelegant and he (technically) contradicts himself on
occasion. But the general sense comes through. It is one of the special
gifts of cinema to be able to show the bigger picture by putting words
in different settings, juxtaposing them with images, to give meanings
that could otherwise be missed.
Perhaps Cobain is at his most articulate when talking about privacy and
the intrusion of the paparazzi. If people believe they have a 'right'
to know everything about a celebrity's life, "Then I have a right to
try and change that view," he says.
Cobain was a tragic character who found happiness in so little and yet
affected his artistic field greatly. Schnack's portrait will not
satisfy fans that want a pop video of Nirvana songs. It doesn't feature
a single one (even though it will increase subsequent enjoyment and
appreciation of their music.) Neither will it satisfy the gore-hounds
who want to endlessly debate whether his death was suicide or not. Yet
somewhere in the misery of Cobain's life was born a spark of creative
fire that was far more important. It is hard to imagine how this film
could have been less commercial or more true to the quest for that
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