Elliott Smith fans will likely appreciate this documentary for the soundtrack alone.
Songs spanning the late artist’s musical career provide the backdrop to the film, from his high-school and punk-band beginnings to the beautiful acoustic-guitar compositions of studio albums like Either Or and XO.
Scenic footage of Portland, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles illustrates the cities he spent time in, as clips from radio interviews and insight from his collaborators help the viewer get a glimpse of the man behind the guitar.
One thing that quickly becomes clear is how revered the artist was among his musical peers. And despite the fame he encountered after his song “Miss Misery” was nominated for an Oscar, his friends paint a picture of a caring, humble man who never saw himself in the spotlight.
As one interviewee recalls, “He valued every single person that would take the time to listen to one of his records.”
Cinematheque, May 6 (9 p.m.)