Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Mini-Theme in My Netflix Queue: Six Degrees of Kurt Cobain

Obviously, I was talking to someone or digging out ideas from something I read (I can never remember what I put in my queue or why) because I've been hitting a recent run of music documentaries and biopics.

was great from a purely dramatic standpoint, and you don't have to know a thing about Joy Division (or their music) to appreciate it.

Some music hipster somewhere is going to have to explain to me, however, the draw of Daniel Johnston and why people consider him a musical genius. Is it the simplicity of his lyrics? The raw emotion he puts into it? That Kurt Cobain once wore a t-shirt? After watching this movie, I came away feeling sorry for him, appalled at what a life as a manic-depressive can do to a person, and also baffled for not being able to see what others were seeing in his music and art.

I know I read somewhere about this documentary, about an early nineties punk band from Seattle that was on the eve of signing a major recording contract when their very talented and charismatic female lead singer was brutally murdered. The documentary traces the band's beginnings and rise in local popularity, featuring electric concert footage (she really was an amazing performer and was probably going somewhere no matter what style of music she was singing) and interviews with friends, fans, family, and band members. It's a sad portrait of lost talent.

Next up, some Andy Griffith! Seriously.


erik said...

i loved "the devil and daniel johnston," but you're right--it's a terribly sad portrait. i just added "the gits" to my netflix queue, so thanks!
if you'd like to continue your rock-themed movie watching, try this:

Laura said...

Cool! Thanks for the tip--it looks interesting, although it appears not to be due for netflixy goodness for a while.

That Andy Griffith film was quite good--very dark view of the costs of celebrity (whew! I'm so glad I've managed to to dodge that bullet). It also pops up with a strangely prescient view on our political times. They even reference Nixon.

Plus, baton twirling to Andy Griffith singing Mama Guitar! (yes, I have that, why do you ask?)