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Kurt Cobain---About a Son

AJ Schnack



Kurt Cobain---About a Son
Directed by: AJ Schnack
(Sidetrack Films)
Kurt Cobain’s face rarely appears in this documentary. Primarily, imagery only exists to support audio of Cobain speaking about his life, loves and hates (lots of that), and the music that influenced him, like Bad Brains, Iggy Pop and Queen. Director AJ Schnack edited over 25 hours of late-night conversations collected by writer Michael Azerrad for his book, Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana. Instead of archival footage, Schnack creates an any-era quality by shooting places that Cobain speaks of, or perhaps travelled through---long, meandering highways and record shops, strangers’ faces and his school gym. Divided into three parts, Schnack spends time in the cities (shot with different film stocks) that formed Cobain’s world-view---Aberdeen, Olympia and Seattle. While this works as an artful representation of middle-class America, at times (like a long shot of a dead bird), it’s heavy-handed. Cobain is fascinating because he doesn’t come off as special, far from a deity, which is the point. There’s sympathy for a man who suffered constant physical pain, but he lacks basic empathy and demands it from others. 
If you need any more assurance that Cobain was human, we hear Courtney Love asking him to make up a bottle of Similac for
Frances Bean.
Sue Carter Flinn


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