I’ve recently become aware of a new Elliott Smith documentary by first-time filmmaker Gil Reyes – it’s called “Searching For Elliott Smith” and I really really really want to see it. Badly.
From what I’ve gleaned from the reviews (four so far, and mostly positive) the doc presents a sympathetic view of Jennifer Chiba (Smith’s fiancee who has, until now, remained silent about the circumstances around his death). According to one reviewer who spoke with Reyes at the CMJ screening in October, the director “originally made it without the participation of Jennifer Chiba and when he showed her a rough cut she said she wanted in, which in and of itself, is odd.”
I don’t think it’s odd at all. I’d be very careful if I were Chiba too. She’s been unfairly cast as the Yoko of this tragedy by many of Smith’s followers, when, really what do we know about her, their relationship or what happened that day? I’m sure she wants to tell her story in a safe environment that presents Smith, his life and art in an authentic and balanced way, and who could blame her. That she decided to participate after seeing a rough cut gives me hope that this is a good documentary… which leads me right back to wanting to see it really really really badly.
From what I can tell, it’s been screened twice – once at the CMJ conference this past October and once at a film festival in Argentina. No future screenings are listed on the official site. So I guess we wait for distribution … offline or online. I’d be happy to pay for a digital copy, you?
OR… hold on, incoming brainwave: perhaps Reyes might want to hook up with Brave New Theaters to let people around the world organise their own screenings. I’m going to email him now… I would love to host a screening.
If that fails, there are three resources to follow, all related, while we wait for more screenings:
Official web site: http://searchingforelliottsmith.com
Official blog: http://searchingforelliottsmith.blogspot.com
Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Searching-For-Elliott-Smith/175680157173?ref=ts