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Photo via imdb.com/Montage of Heck
Photo via imdb.com/Montage of Heck

If there’s one thing Seattle is known for worldwide in pop culture, it is Nirvana. In fact, Nirvana’s presence is still so prevalent you’d be hard-pressed to go anywhere in this town and not see, feel or hear the band’s influence still today.

A new documentary about the life of Nirvana’s front man, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, opens today in select markets, including Seattle.

Made with the blessing of Cobain’s family, his daughter Frances Bean Cobain is a producer, and directed by Brett Morgen, Montage of Heck literally is a series of montages of video clips, music, art, journals, photos and more throughout Cobain’s life.

The film’s been slightly controversial, as the screening in Seattle got a little heated last night, according to the Stranger, and the obvious fact that drummer Dave Grohl is not featured. Morgen said it was due to scheduling conflicts, then interviews that happened too late in the game to get into the film’s final edits, according to Billboard.

The reviews are fairly positive on the doc, but it will be far from an easy VH1-style “Behind the Music” ride. The New York Times review called it an, “exhilarating, exhausting, two-hour-plus film, both an artful mosaic and a hammering barrage.”

“A portrait is assembled of Cobain as relentlessly self-aware and self-critical,” the Times continues. “And a theory is advanced involving insecurity and shame. And Mr. Morgen — able to choose from the archives — finds abundant clues and premonitions in Cobain’s writings and uses a full bag of film tricks to make them tell the story he wants told.”

Whether you lived Nirvana the first time around, or are a newcomer to the Seattle scene, it is well worth a look. The film opens today at SIFF on Capitol Hill. It’s also an HBO Documentary Film and airs May 4.

The trailer is below:

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