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Kurt and Courtney

Engaging documentarian Nick Broomfield adds to his running chronicle of seedy U.S. subculture with this dissection of rock icon Kurt Cobain's 1994 suicide. With his trademark casual, passively invasive style, Broomfield delves into Cobain's short life, from his Aberdeen, Wash., childhood to his rise as heroin-sated grunge prophet. Inevitably, conspiracists raise suspicion over Cobain's death, many implicating Cobain's monomaniacal actress-rocker wife Courtney Love in foul play. Smartly, Broomfield doesn't jump to any conclusions over these compelling but ultimately crackpot allegations from disgruntled ex-lovers, employees, and drug-addled musicians. Neither does pushy Love, however, make an effort to deflect suspicion. As Broomfield pursues his subject, the Hole frontwoman urges the suits at MTV to put pressure on the film's financiers, and Broomfield uncovers stories of journalists threatened with physical violence for criticizing Love or her cash-cow spouse. While Kurt and Courtney isn't as tight or compelling as Broomfield's previous films about Hollywood madame Heidi Fleiss or serial killer Aileen Wournos, it is mildly provocative, features a cast of colorful characters, and ends with a shocking, terribly ironic final showdown with Love at an ACLU Free Speech banquet. Presented in standard 1.33:1 and Dolby Surround 2.0. Textual supplements, keep-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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