“Besides inspiring the title of the film, Morgen says that the “Montage of Heck” tape provided him with “a blueprint on how to make the movie,” which manifests itself in the dynamic, remix-inspired approach to pairing the original archival audio with intricately designed animated sequences” (Gupta, 2015). “Morgans has utilised two different styles of animation at work: traditional single cell and motion graphics, with the bulk of the film’s animation falling into the latter category” (Gupta, 2015).
The motion graphics sequence was built from still photographs that look straight down on pages from Cobain’s journals. The resulting full-frame photograph manipulate the angle, grain, light and texture so that the image felt just as analogue as the accompanying audio which gains the audience’s attention.
My favourite scene in the entire film was the single cell animation scene. The scene existed initially as an audio recording of which Cobain relates his first sexual experience. Director Brett Morgen Said: “I was so nervous about approaching that story, and for the longest time, it existed as only audio, and in a way, I kept thinking maybe this could be it: That we could all sit in a movie theatre and just listen to his voice. I just felt any visuals are going to torpedo this thing. And I also was thinking, how do you represent Kurt in an animation?” Moving forward the end product of this sequence was amazing, the style of the oil painting was one in which I had never seen before. The texture and colours were so rich and dark making the depicted world of which Cobain grew up in gloomy depressing and most of all very engaging. The visuals also don’t over weigh the audio only aid to it greatly thus breaking down the scene it follows aspects of both poetic and expository documentary film making.
The Motion Graphics in the documentary were what I think an accurate representation of what his creative process was like. The motion graphics follows of designs by Nadelman who told Indiewire that he worked on the film in bits and pieces. “I didn’t have a picture of the film in my head like [Brett] did,” he said, “so [Brett] would just give me some key words to work with, like what Kurt was feeling at the time or what he was going for in the narrative and then he would sort of let me loose.” I think this process is the same in which Cobain would write songs. Just starting off by scribbling something down and expanding of it. So in a way this style does give an authentic representation of how Cobain would creative things.
The film has been received quite well by critics and fans, although the main source of negativity surrounding the documentary has come from friends of Cobain. Buzz Osborne Founding Member of the punk band Melvins and long time friend of Cobain has made outcries against the film stating that: “90 percent of the Cobain documentary Montage of Heck is bulls–t.” coming full circle Osborne states “I know the whole ‘I tried to fuck a fat retard’ story is complete bullshit. especially if, as he suggests, the girl’s father freaked out about it at the high school,” wrote Osborne, adding, “In that small-town shit-hole, exciting news of that nature would have been common knowledge before the sun set. It never happened.”
So even if the story isn’t true is it okay to portray it to be if the subject is dead. Is the film a documentary still or a mockumentary. Did Morgan know of this lie but chose to portray it anyway. Although I enjoyed the sequence very much it actually portrays Cobain in a very negative light with him reminiscing of his questionabledark past. Osborne brings up a great truth referring to people responding to his claims of the documentary being wrong. Osborne says. “If they want to argue and say that I’m wrong, then okay, I’ll play their game. Would they feel better if Kurt Cobain did ‘f— a fat retard.’ Do they feel better now? Do they feel better if he actually was suicidal? That makes you feel better? None of that’s true. I don’t think that’s a good legacy for him to have out there…I know it’s not true. It’s that simple.”
At the end of the day, it’s just One persons representation of another’s life, however this can have a major impact on other people’s perceptions. as soon as you shine a light on a subject that is already controversial the lines between the truth become blurred.
Brodsky, R. (2015). Buzz Osborne Expands on ‘Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck’ Criticism | SPIN. Spin. Retrieved 15 June 2015, from http://www.spin.com/2015/06/buzz-osbourne-montage-of-heck-interview/
Fienberg, D. (2015). Review: ‘Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck’ definitively doesn’t define the Nirvana icon. HitFix. Retrieved 15 June 2015, from http://www.hitfix.com/the-fien-print/review-kurt-cobain-montage-of-heck-definitively-doesnt-define-the-nirvana-icon
Gupta, S. (2015). From Audio to Animation: How ‘Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck’ Captures Cobain in All His Contradictions. Indiewire. Retrieved 15 June 2015, from http://www.indiewire.com/article/from-audio-to-animation-how-kurt-cobain-montage-of-heck-captures-cobain-in-all-his-contradictions-20150504
King, D. (2015). First Look: ‘Montage of Heck,’ Part-Animated Kurt Cobain Doc. Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 15 June 2015, from http://www.cartoonbrew.com/documentary-2/first-look-montage-of-heck-part-animated-kurt-cobain-doc-110368.html
Levy, P. (2015). Buzz Osborne says Kurt Cobain documentary Montage of Heck is “90% bullshit”.Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 15 June 2015, from http://consequenceofsound.net/2015/06/buzz-osborne-says-kurt-cobain-documentary-montage-of-heck-is-90-bullshit/
Tucker, K. (2015). ‘Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck’: Nirvana for Fans. Yahoo.com. Retrieved 15 June 2015, from https://www.yahoo.com/tv/kurt-cobain-montage-of-heck-review-hbo-118117783240.html
Zadrozny, A. (2015). Buzz Osborne: I Don’t Get How You Could Defend Courtney Love. Loudwire. Retrieved 15 June 2015, from http://loudwire.com/buzz-osborne-i-dont-understand-how-anyone-could-defend-courtney-love/