Thursday, November 5, 2009

Elliott Smith 1998 Promotional Film "Strange Parallel" In Its Entirety

The 1998 Elliott Smith promotional film, Strange Parallel, finally made its way onto YouTube in its entirety. The film, directed by Steve Hanft, is about 30 minutes long and is part documentary, part experimental film. It's got some great footage, even if the picture and sound quality aren't perfect. I'd like to see this released in proper form some time in the near future.
Director Steve Hanft, about the film:
In 1998 I was hired to make a film for the reclusive rocker Elliott Smith. Very excited, I flew to Portland, Oregon, where he was staying and met with him to figure it out before we filmed. At the meeting he explained, in a very quiet voice, with a slight smile, that he didn’t want it to be a straight-up documentary. So I suggested he write down some of his dreams. The next day, we met again, and he began talking a lot, and louder, telling me all about how he “had a fucked up dream last night.” It was very funny when he explained it, everyone in and around the music business he was in was telling him to get a mechanical hand to replace the hand that he’d trained for so long to play guitar. There was also a military recruiter who came into the bar where he was writing a song that would yell at him for no reason, and Satan was there, that kills me. A lot of people who know him from his music don’t understand that he was really funny. So we wrote the dream into the shot list and intercut it into the more traditional music footage. It was hard to get the documentary footage out of him, he hated being interviewed. He was much more into the dream sequence and we had a lot fun shooting it. It was an amazing experience and just knowing a guy like that, so talented and brutally honest, has changed my life. Bless him.
Watch it here:

UPDATE - Video has been taken down by UMG, I will repost when it becomes available again.

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