Sunday, May 10, 2015

Montage of Heck

I watched the HBO Kurt Cobain documentary, Montage of Heck, last night.

I never stopped liking Nirvana and still enjoy listening to them. I also love that first Hole album. But I wasn't particularly into the scene around them in any way and didn't read about them or follow them in the media or pay much attention to Nirvana and Hole other than listening to the the music, which I think is great. Also my favorite Nirvana album was always the MTV Unplugged, which seems to make me less of a true true fan.

I was curious about this documentary because it has gotten good reviews. It was interesting hearing a bit about Cobain's youth and getting to see the writings from his notebooks, as well as the home videos of him and Courtney Love with their baby. But it didn't really deepen my experience of the music or provide insight into the artists in any kind of fulfilling way. I think you need to be more of a full on fan of Cobain to care about Montage of Heck, which to me fell flat. The animations of his drawings were engaging, and the interviews were as well. It was also fun having a 90s nostalgia time with it. But I just didn't feel moved.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

American Horror Story: Freak Show

I totally got into AHS: Freak Show, the fourth season of the series. (I didn't like, and never finished watching the third one, Coven). It is set in 1952 at a freak show in southern Florida run by a German chanteuse, Elsa Mars (wonderfully played by Jessica Lange). There is much plotting and intrigue and murder and mayhem -- the plot lines are downright ridiculous. But it is so much fun. Colorful and surreal (the scenes between Dandy and his mother Gloria were bizarre and hilarious). An element I particularly enjoyed was the anachronistic musical numbers, including Bowie's Life on Mars and Heroes, Fiona Apple's Criminal, and a Lana Del Rey song. Oh, also a kind of embarrassing Nirvana song. I wish they had included one in every episode but maybe that would have been too much.

Sarah Paulson was marvelous at the conjoined twins, Bette and Dot. Denis O'Hare as the greedy and creepy and villainous con-man was fantastic. Loved Angela Bassett as a woman with three tits. Cathy Bates was great, though she had an accent that came and went and was distracting. All in all, very good performances and a wonderful looking show. Because of the theatrical elements and effects I did not care about the silliness and goriness of it.