Kurt Cobain would have turned 41 on February 20th if he had not shot himself. On this birth anniversary of one of rock's most influential individuals Shout! Factory released a DVD titled Kurt Cobain: About A Son that presents Cobain from a first person perspective.
The film is anchored by Kurt Cobain's own voice as pulled from over 25 hours of previously unheard interviews recorded by music journalist Michael Azerrad for his book Come As You Are: The Story Of Nirvana. These conversations are spliced together and presented with visuals from areas in Washington state where Cobain lived, worked and died. When Kurt references a particular place you are shown a video montage of the place. The imagery in the film provides a sense of looking through Cobain's eyes, as a ghost.
The documentary style is extremely effective, but the random close up shots of unknown human faces leaves you wondering if these people are actually connected to Cobain in some way, or if they just happen to be residents of the areas where Cobain lived. Apart from this annoying unexplained technique you'll find yourself becoming engulfed in Cobain's words. At times his troubled emotional state becomes clear and you'll get a glimpse of the things that ultimately contributed to his suicide.
About A Son is a fascinating exposé on Kurt Cobain, and the visuals undoubtedly add depth and intimacy to the audio interviews, which are the foundation of the film.
The original score was created by Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard and Nirvana producer Steve Fisk, and also contains the music of 20 artists who influenced or touched Cobain during his lifetime. This playlist features the tracks heard in the film.
The DVD is a must for Nirvana fans. A must for music historians. And a must for those who love to live vicariously.
Kurt Cobain: About A Son Playlist
1. Overture - Steve Fisk/Benjamin Gibbard
2. Never Intended (Audio Excerpt) - Arlo Guthrie
5. Punk Rock (Audio Excerpt) - Melvins
11. Hardcore Was Dead (Audio Excerpt) - Butthole Surfers
14. Car Radio (Audio Excerpt) - Mudhoney
18. The Limelight (Audio Excerpt) - R.E.M.
21. Indian Summer - Benjamin Gibbard
- Kurt Cobain