Heaven Adores You
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'Heaven Adores You' is an intimate, meditative inquiry into the life and music of Elliott Smith, a musician whose rise to prominence in the 1990s and early 2000s was cut short by his untimely death at the age of 34 in 2003. By threading the music of Elliott Smith through the dense yet often isolating landscapes of the three major cities he lived in: Portland, New York & Los Angeles, 'Heaven Adores You' presents a visual journey and an earnest review of the singer's prolific songwriting and the impact it continues to have on fans, friends and fellow musicians. At the conclusion of the film we have a rich view of an incredible and accomplished talent, a view that places music at the center of Elliott Smith's legacy.
Performance of 'Heaven Adores You' by Aaron Espinoza
An hour of extended interviews with many of the contributors to the main film
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The documentary is a chronology of highlights his music rise and career. It had interviews with friends and colleagues who knew him well spliced with various videos and photos of Elliott. But I don't know what this documentary was trying to do. If it was an introduction to Elliott Smith it offered so little of the music he is known for. If it was for the die-hard Elliott Smith fans, it offered little insight beyond what we already knew. It tried to stay positive and did not touch on the darker side of the musician, thus to a non-Smith fan, you would have been surprised at the end of the film of his drug use and suicide. It's a shame, I really wanted to like this documentary, but I didn't learn anything new about the musician, his life, his motivation, his music. My roommate who didn't know who he was had his interest piqued, but did not come away with any thoughts or opinions on his music. This is regrettable since Elliott Smith was a brilliant musician. This documentary fails to have an target audience- new fans won't be introduced to his amazing songs, long-time fans won't come away with anything new.
Heaven Adores You also takes us from Portland, where Elliott was a local staple in his early musical years, to New York, and finally Los Angeles, where he died - and it's still undetermined whether or not it was a suicide. It shows the real, non-touristy parts of each city where Elliott based his music of the time, through the lens of Rossi's carefully choreographed shots. The cinematography is real. Throughout, the film is full, of course, of Elliott's music, and the song selections are perfect.
I'm watching Mr. Rossi's career with interest. He'll have a tough time topping a winner of a picture like Heaven Adores You.