20 music documentaries you must watch if you liked A Star is Born

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Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck

This is another documentary made about an artist after their death, but it definitely wasn’t the first to be made about Kurt Cobain. The Nirvana frontman has fascinated people for years and has been the subject of many articles, think pieces, biographies, and documentaries in the past. But interestingly enough, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck was the first to be made with cooperation from his family, including Courtney Love and their daughter, Frances Bean Cobain (who was a co-executive producer).

This documentary was directed by Brett Morgen and released in 2015. It first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival that year, but also got a limited released in theatres worldwide as well as premiering on HBO. It chronicles Cobain’s life from his humble beginnings in Washington state through his troubled teen years as well as his rise to fame with Nirvana and his suicide in April 1994 at age 27 (another member of the “27 Club” along with Amy Winehouse).

The idea for the movie was actually that of Courtney Love, rockstar, actress and Cobain’s wife, who approached Brett Morgen with the idea in 2007.  Thanks to the cooperation of Love, the production was given access to all of Cobain’s personal archives of artwork and music, including footage from various Nirvana performances, never-before-heard songs, home movies, recordings, photography, and songbooks. The name of the film — “Montage of Heck” — was taken from the name of a musical collage Cobain recorded in 1988.

Critics raved about the movie, especially the fact that it dove so deep into Cobain’s personal life, unlike any other documentary or book before. One criticism about it, though, was from Buzz Osborne, a close friend of Cobain, who said that “90 percent of Montage of Heck is bullsh-t.” He did interviews maintaining that he knew a lot of the stuff in the film was untrue, and saying people can choose who to believe.