Heaven Adores You: The Elliot Smith Documentary

Posted at July 29th, 2015 | by Kamakshi Bhat | in

Elliott Smith, an American indie rock singer songwriter who after struggling for several years with alcoholism, depression and drug dependence, died from two stab wounds to his chest on October 21, 2003 in LA. The autopsy reports till date remain inconclusive on whether or not the wounds were self-inflicted.


Elliott Smith Plays the Variety Playhouse - File Photos
Considered to be one of the most influential indie rock musicians till date, Elliott wrote songs that were closely related to his life and his personal struggles. Smith was a multi- instrumentalist and used multi-tracking to create vocal layers, textures, and harmonies.


In May, 2014 a documentary on his life and music was released focusing on the three cities he lived in his music career (Portland, New York and Los Angeles). It  is about his albums from 1994-2000 and his Oscar nomination for the song “Miss Misery” for the movie, Good Will Hunting.
Smith always had a beautiful thing about his music, with personal narrative lyrics talking about dealing with his addictions and disorders and always had a hauntingly-beautiful thing about his lyrics. A time when grunge was the ‘it’ thing, Smith brought a new genre into the music scene for people who were desperately seeking a new sound. Smith received positive response from an eager audience who simply loved his music.
The Documentary shows footage from concerts, personal photos and recorded conversations and interviews with Smith and his family, friends and collaborators. Participants include Smith’s sister, Jon Brion, Joanna Bolme, Rob Schnapf and Kill Rock Stars Founder Slim Moon. Heaven Adores You is the first documentary to gain permission to use Smith’s music. The documentary is directed by Nickolas Rossi and it gives a  into Smith’s personal life that his loyal fans will see till this date. The documentary was premiered at San Francisco Film Festival much to the public’s delight and garnered positive reviews with the San Francisco Bay Guardian described it as an “artfully crafted study of a unique talent”, Way too Indie called it “a tasteful haunting portrait” and while Ground Magazine called it “a celebration of the fullness of the life Smith lived.
Elliott Smith‘s work as a musician has been astounding and over the years has inspired artists and fellow musicians all over the world. Fans were left feeling elated on hearing unreleased songs by Smith that were also featured in the documentary. The documentary opens up with short interviews by his friends and family and goes straight into his childhood, when smith was just a little baby.
Director Nickolas Rossi tries and is somehow successful to avoid the dark side of Elliott Smith’s life by only focusing on the light. But Smith’s true fans have nothing to lose and everything to gain. So for everyone out there’s who has not seen this wonderful tribute for a wonderful man that was taken from us too soon, you need to watch it. But his music will live on forever and inspire artists for the coming many years and in our hearts and through his music, Elliott Smith will live on forever. The movie was initially released on May 7th, 2015 in US and was made available on DVD, Blu-Ray and iTunes on July 17th, 2015. Watch the teaser here!




Kamakshi Bhat


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