Kurt and Courtney, by journalist/filmmaker Nick Broomfield (Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam), was to have premiered at Sundance tomorrow night. But the film was hastily yanked from the schedule Wednesday--the fest's Robert Redford-ites getting cold feet after repeated lawsuit threats from Love, Casablanca reports.
The on-hiatus leader of alternative rock band Hole reportedly said she would sue Sundance for defamation of character if the documentary was screened, according to today's New York Post.
"I'm not at all surprised, because Courtney Love has been doing everything she can to stop [the film]," Broomfield tells the Post. "...To me, this is an issue of freedom of speech. I think it's sad that the Sundance Film Festival should be influenced by someone like [Love] and her power and money."
There was no comment from Love's camp.
Kurt and Courtney is a "vastly pleasurable and provoking" documentary that traces Cobain's early years, and ends with Broomfield deciding to "question Courtney Love about her possible involvement in Cobain's death." This synopsis/review, courtesy the Sundance Festival itself.
Cobain died in 1994 at age 27. Police ruled the case a suicide. But rumors that Love provoked and/or played an even more active role in her husband's shooting death have persisted for years--mainly in the dark corners of the Internet. Broomfield's film is among the first mainstream works to broach the subject. In it, Love's own father reportedly blames his daughter for Cobain's death.
"I didn't in any way have it in for Courtney Love," Broomfield says of his movie. "...I had hoped [Love] would emerge as a likable person onscreen. But I found her bullying and treatment of people was very hard to take."
Officially, the Sundance Festival, opening tonight in Park City, Utah, pulled Kurt and Courtney because of concerns over music rights. The fest was worried about being sued by record company EMI over the flick's use of one Cobain song and one Love song.
"...We have been informed that there are a number of unresolved legal matters between the filmmaker and others--including uncleared music rights--which make it impossible for us to present the film," a Sundance spokesman tells the Post.
Broomfield slams that explanation as bogus. He says he even offered to cut the offending songs for the premiere. The filmmaker has even tried lobbying Sundance founder Robert Redford, to no avail. The movie star hasn't returned his call, Broomfield says.