only magazine

↵ home


By Adam Thomas

Thursday January 3, 2008

Almost nothing about this film is what you’d expect from a documentary about 90s rock icon Kurt Cobain. First off there is no archival footage of him or the band, and secondly there is no Nirvana music in the film. While this seems strikingly odd and possibly even frustrating for anyone who just wants to see more, don’t despair.

Woven together from hours and hours of intimate audio interviews recorded between 1992 and 1993 by Michael Azerrad for his book about Cobain, the film, directed by AJ Schnack is a hauntingly brilliant confessional with Cobain as the first person narrator to the story of his life. Revealing and honest, touching and totally candid the film features the recordings paired with footage of the places Cobain lived and captures the damp Pacific Northwest in all its dreary glory. It’s a telling achievement to be able to realise a person without ever having to include their image or to rely on third person interviews and About a Son manages to offer something wonderful so many people wanted to believe about Kurt Cobain; that he was just like one of us.

About a Son opens tonight at the Pacific Cinematheque and runs until January 9th.