Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Shooting Kurt

The Kurt Cobain industry continues to hum with activity. There was additional news this week about the mooted biopic of the Nirvana singer, while a new Cobain-based film has just gone on general release in the United States. Troy screenwriter …

Fri, Oct 26, 2007, 14:22

   

The Kurt Cobain industry continues to hum with activity.

There was additional news this week about the mooted biopic of the Nirvana singer, while a new Cobain-based film has just gone on general release in the United States.

Troy screenwriter David Benioff has been tapped to write the Hollywood take on Cobain’s life to be based on Seattle journalist Charles Cross’s 2001 biography, Heavier The Heaven. Cobain’s widow Courtney Love is onboard as executive producer for the flick.

Such a film will undoubtedly add to the value of the Cobain estate. Last year, Forbes magazine ranked Cobain as the top-earning dead celebrity with income of over $50 million in 2005.

While previous attempts to get the Nirvana frontman’s story onto the big screen were nixed at various stages, one such film is now showing in American cinemas.

Kurt Cobain About A Son features Cobain himself talking about his life, music, Nirvana, drugs, Courtney and the downsides of fame.

These insights come from interviews conducted by writer Michael Azerrad with Cobain in 1992 and 1993 while he was researching his “Come As You Are” book on Nirvana.

Director AJ Schnack took the 25 hours of interviews amassed by Azerrad and culled extracts from them to narrate the singer’s story in his own words.

Amongst the topics which Cobain talks about are growing up in Aberdeen, his early obsessions with music (including The Beatles, a Hawaiian guitar and an eight-track cassette of Queen’s “News of the World”) and the break-up of his parent’s marriage which, he says, marked the end of his childhood happiness.

Cobain’s comments about the changes he perceived in his relationship with band-mates Dave Grohi and Kris Novoselic post-“Nevermind” are particularly telling.

Cobain’s quotes are interwoven with contemporary footage shot in Aberdeen, Montesano, Olympia and Seattle, four Washington state towns associated with the singer.

Instead of approaching the Cobain estate for permission to use Nirvana’s music, Schnack and Azerrad instead featured the music of such Cobain favourites as Bad Brains, Mudhoney, The Melvins and David Bowie.

In one of the most poignant quotes from the film, Cobain remarks “I’ve thought about dying all my life. If I was going to blow my head off with a gun, I might as well take the risk of taking drugs.”

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