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Elliott Smith on Screen

While making his documentary Searching for Elliott Smith, director Gil Reyes discovered that the late musician’s story was a little different than he’d expected. “I approached the film thinking that he was a sensitive singer-songwriter who was all-around depressed most of the time,” says Reyes. “And he wasn’t.”

By interviewing many of the artist’s friends and former bandmates (including the girlfriend some fans blame for his death), Reyes came away with a picture of a man whom he describes as a funny, generous person who always stuck up for the underdog. “There’s more to him than just being a sad sack and then dying in the way that he did,” says Reyes. “In the short time that he was here, he took a lot of negative feelings that started in childhood and turned them into something beautiful with his music.”

The film tells the story of Smith from childhood up until his mysterious death at age 34 and offers new insight into the life of this influential artist. Radio 1190 and Sacred Chao Productions will bring one of Smith’s close friends, musician Mary Lou Lord, and filmmaker Reyes to the Oriental Theater, 4335 West 44th Avenue, for a screening of the film, a meet-and-greet, a Q&A, and an Elliott Smith tribute show with local musicians Chella Negro, Poets Row, Raven and the Writing Desk and more. Doors open at 6 p.m. for meet-and-greet ticket-holders ($40); the show ($20 GA, $25 VIP) starts at 7 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit
Sat., July 28, 8:30 p.m., 2012


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