Preview by: Jack Foley
THE tragic death of Nirvana lead singer, Kurt Cobain, has inspired
a new film from award-winning director, Gus Van Sant, which received
its world premiere at this year's Cannes Film Festival (2005).
Last Days depicts the inner turmoil of a troubled musician during
the final days of his life and is earning a certain notoriety
among fans of Nirvana.
For while Van Sant maintains it is a piece of fiction, the parallels
between Cobain's life and those of the musician played by Michael
Pitt in the movie are plain for all to see.
First and foremost, Pitt looks uncannily like Cobain, right down
to his messy blonde hair, while there are also suggestions that
the character has spent time in drug rehabilitation.
What's more, the film is set in the
same year that Kurt Cobain took his own life, 1994.
Nevertheless, it is considered to be among the favourites for
this year's Palme d'Or, where it is one of 23 films playing in
Van Sant is no stranger to Cannes success either, having triumphed
in 2003 for his equally controversial movie, Elephant,
which depicts the days leading up to a High School massacre.
The director admits that all of his recent films have been influenced
by real life in some way, with Last Days said to reflect the Seattle
music movement of 1994.
Speaking at Cannes, the 52-year-old director said that when 'Cobain
died, there was real intense fascination with his last days from
seemingly the entire world'.
"It is one of those suicides, like Hunter S Thompson's or
Elliott Smith's - it's always affecting," he claimed.
As a result, he took newspaper stories from the time to build
a story that was also fuelled by his own imagination.