Rather than quiz those Cobain left behind when he committed suicide in 1994, Schnack tells his tale using excerpts from interviews with the singer/guitarist conducted in 1992 and 1993 by journalist Michael Azerrad for the book Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana. These candid, if generally dour, observations are then paired with imagery shot in Washington State locales where Cobain lived, much of it either slowed down or sped up, Koyaanisqatsi-style. Schnack maintains the stylistic integrity of this concept admirably, turning the film into a muted but very personal tone poem. Nonetheless, many of the juxtapositions feel either facile or heavy-handed: Take, for instance, the sequence in which Cobain praises punk rock as the camera lingers on items found in a janitor's closet. And the work underplays its subject's artistry the reason he's still so revered a decade-plus after his death.
Kurt Cobain: About a Son begins its local run at 4:45 p.m. today at Starz FilmCenter in the Tivoli; tickets are $5.75 to $8.75. Learn more at www.denverfilm.org or 303-820-3456.
Nov. 2-8, 2007