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Kurt and Courtney Movie Review

love broomfield cobain film

Nick Broomfield has a lot of nerve calling Kurt and Courtney a documentary. Without a budget, however small, he would be standing on a street corner, telling all and sundry the “conspiracy” theories even he doesn't believe about the “murder” of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain (1967–94). What “evidence” does Broomfield offer to support the notion of a murder conspiracy? One private eye. One alcoholic who died after staggering into a train. Oh, and Hank Harrison, Courtney Love's father, who no longer sees her for obvious reasons. After this “primary source material,” there are “character witnesses” like Cobain's best friend and one of Love's old boyfriends. Then Broomfield crashes the stage of the ACLU awards to demand an explanation from Love about why she harasses reporters before security people give him the hook. All of this was watched enthusiastically by a Roxie Cinema crowd of Kurt Cobain fans who dislike Courtney Love because she's alive, thriving, and still famous. Love's lawyers yanked Kurt and Courtney from the Sundance Film Festival because of Broomfield's unauthorized use of Nirvana music. There was still some legal squabbling about the film's content at the time of the Roxie engagement, but eventually Courtney's “people” left the film alone to live and die on its own terms. The one credible participant here is Cobain's Aunt Mari Earl, who talks fondly about her talented nephew and plays some of little Kurt's very early recordings. It's a small but real comfort to know that he had a few moments of happiness before the rot of fame, drugs, and a gun shot ended his short life.

1998 (R) 100m/C GB Courtney Love, Kurt Cobain; D: Nick Broomfield; C: Joan Churchill. VHS

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