Last Days

You have to give director Gus Van Sant credit for moxy - it took guts to choose to premiere his film Last Days, a fictional take on the last days in the life of Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain, in Seattle, Cobain's home turf, on the last day of the Seattle International Film Festival. During his pre-show intro, Van Sant told a little story about being asked on his way up to Seattle what he was going there for; when he said he was going to the North American debut of Last Days, his companion said, "Are you scared?"

"I wasn't then," Van Sant jokingly recalls, "but I am right now."

There was tremendous anticipation and speculation leading up to the film, which opened to mixed (mostly positive) reviews at Cannes. The film is, as Van Sant emphasized, a work of fiction - not strictly about Cobain, but dedicated to him, and certainly the film explores Van Sant's ideas about what the singer's last days on earth were like, as he spiraled downward to his end.