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Music

Kurt Cobain once named his 10 favourite films of all time

@Russellisation

Coming off the back of a decade of pervasive success in commercial entertainment, artists, filmmakers and musicians approached the 1990s with a refreshing sense of optimism and ingenuity, leading to the birth of some of the most influential voices of the era. 

Joining the likes of Winona Ryder, Will Smith and Eminem, Kurt Cobain emerged as one of the most important voices of the era, rising to popularity at the start of the decade as the lead singer of Nirvana. Together with Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Chad Channing, Cobain became an influential ‘90s figure, thanks to such pertinent hits as ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, ‘In Bloom’ and ‘Lithium’.

Passing away in 1994 after tragic circumstances, the impact of Cobain’s music is still felt today, inspiring musicians and fans alike. As recently as March 2022, The Batman director Matt Reeves explained that Cobain was a major inspiration for his titular caped crusader, with the song ‘Something in the Way’ becoming a key song in the superhero soundtrack. 

Though a considerable fan of cinema, no superhero movies make it onto Kurt Cobain’s list of favourite films, with the musician instead picking out several independent and subversive classics.

Included on the list of compiled films from several different interviews, Jonathan Kaplan’s Over the Edge features as a significant entry, with the film, starring Matt Dillon and Pamela Ludwig, following a group of teenagers who rebel against authority in the community of New Granada. Speaking about the significance of the film on his life, Cobain once stated: “It really defined my personality. It’s really cool. A complete mess”. 

Discussing his relationship with cinema in an interview from 1992, Cobain revealed his love for the Wim Wender’s classic whilst also stating, “I’d like to be something artistic I guess. A painter, a writer, or something like that. I’d like to get in to movies”. 

Kurt Cobain’s 10 favourite films:

  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Steven Spielberg, 1977)
  • Don’t Look Back (D. A. Pennebaker, 1967)
  • Eraserhead (David Lynch, 1977)
  • Naked Lunch (David Cronenberg, 1991)
  • On the Edge (Jonathan Kaplan, 1979)
  • Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders, 1984)
  • Pink Flamingos (John Waters, 1972)
  • Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)
  • Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992)
  • This is Spinal Tap (Rob Reiner, 1984)

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