Touchy Subject

December 1, 2005


I watched Gus Van Sant’s “Last Day” the other night, a film inspired by the last few days of Kurt Cobain’s life. I’m still not sure what to think yet. I love Gus Van Sant’s work, but I love Kurt Cobain even more. It’s a touchy topic to cover, the death of Cobain, and aside from police reporters, the events and details leading up to his death are heresy, but I’m getting ahead of myself, I’m not yet ready to start discussing conspiracy theories. The movie itself doesn’t really go into all of that. It doesn’t even show that the main character, Blake, commit suicide. (Gus obviously couldn’t get the rights to use Kurt Cobain’s name). “Last Days” is a character study of a disturbed, drug addicted, famous rock musician who isolated himself from friends and family and was plagued by hangers-on. It’s a total arthouse film. I think the script was about a page long, most of it was improvised. I can understand the direction Van Sant was taking with very little dialogue and camera shots that require more than a set of eyes to comprehend, viewers feel like they’re invading someone’s private moments. Throughout most of the film, “Blake” is walking around his house in a drug-induced haze mumbling incoherently to himself and avoiding contact with the closest people in his life. The beginning scene has “Blake” spending a night in the woods by himself and sitting next to a fire singing sorrowfully “Home on the Range”. The character is wearing a hospital bracelet and looks as though he was AWOL from a drug rehab center. Like I said, I don’t know what to think about the film, I like some aspects of the “Last Days” (the loneliness and desperation dripping from the best of the scenes) but “Blake” is just a little too docile and effeminate. Kurt had much more of an edge, much more of a cynical disposition than the “Blake” character. His clothes, however, were eerily identical to Kurt’s wardrobe. The actor’s face is seldom seen in the film and in some shots, viewers get the sense that they really are looking into the Last Days of Kurt Cobain’s life.

What can I say, it’s just not the same, we’re drowning in the backlash of your unwanted fame. Radio waves have lost their way, what would you say if you heard the news today? What would you say, “something’s in the way”.

Love is on the run, an all-time high hits an all-time low, gravity is weighing down on everyone you know. What would you say in light of it all? “Together we stand, divided we fall.” What do we do in spite of it all? Grow old and bitter replaying your call, with all your pretty songs we’ll always sing along. What can I say, it’s just another day. 12/5/05

Author: Lindsay Niemann

Writer | Graphic Artist