Greetings from Tim Buckley

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Greetings from Tim Buckley
Greetings from Tim Buckley poster.jpg
Directed byDaniel Algrant
Produced byPatrick Milling-Smith
Fred Zollo
John Hart
Amy Nauiokas
Written byDaniel Algrant
Emma Sheanshang
David Brendel
StarringPenn Badgley
Imogen Poots
CinematographyAndrij Parekh
Edited byBill Pankow
Distributed byFocus World
Release date
  • September 9, 2012 (2012-09-09) (Toronto)
  • May 3, 2013 (2013-05-03) (limited release)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$11,157[1]

Greetings from Tim Buckley is a 2012 American film directed by Daniel Algrant starring Penn Badgley and Imogen Poots. The film follows the journey Jeff Buckley took in grappling with the legacy of his late musician father, Tim, leading up to and culminating with his legendary 1991 performance of his father's songs.[2] The film premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2012 to generally positive reviews. The film was released on May 3, 2013, in a limited release.


In 1991, a young Jeff Buckley rehearses for his public singing debut at a Brooklyn tribute show for his father, the late folk singer Tim Buckley. Struggling with the legacy of a man he barely knew, Jeff forms a friendship with an enigmatic young woman Allie, working at the show and begins to discover the powerful potential of his own musical voice. Greetings from Tim Buckley is filled with stirring musical performances and the memorable songs of a father and son who were each among the most beloved singer/songwriters of their respective generations.[3]



The only audition tape that came in that took on that record store scene was Penn's, and it was almost as you see it. He just did it and took such risks, and anyone who's going to take such risks on his audition is my guy. When we filmed it, I remember saying, 'Keep going, be bold,' because I would think Jeff would want him to be bold and bolder and boldest, and so we went that way.

—Algrant on casting Badgley as Jeff[6]

Principal photography took place in August and September 2011 in New York City.[7][8] Interior scenes were shot at St. Ann's Church in Brooklyn where Buckley's actual gig occurred back in 1991.[9] Production was managed by Smuggler Films and A-Z productions. Screenwriters are Emma Sheanshang, David Brendel and Daniel Algrant. The executive producers include Brian Carmody and Jill Footlick (Boys Don't Cry, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee) and Ben Limberg. Producers are Fred Zollo, Patrick Milling-Smith, John Hart, and Amy Nauiokas. Avy Kauffman is the casting director.[2]

Music used in the film comes from the Tim Buckley estate, except Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," which Jeff Buckley covered on his only studio album, the 1994 Grace.[10] Jeff's character and Gary Lucas also jam on the instrumental of "Grace" as a song idea that Gary had. Singer-songwriter Jann Klose sings and plays guitar on the Tim Buckley songs, "Song For Janie," "Pleasant Street," and "Once I Was." [11]

Badgley was cast after he sent a tape of him singing.[12] The audition tape that he sent included an interpretation of the Led Zeppelin III album, which also appears in the film.[13] For the role, Badgley lost some weight: "I remember in my head thinking, 'I'm never going to be able to get as thin as him, so I'm just going to stop working out. I'm just going to stop getting in the sun. I'm just going to try to get as thin and pale as possible'."[14] He also took guitar and vocal lessons.[15] The vocal coach taught him how to warm up and warm down his voice and the guitar teacher taught him scales and progressions.[16] Serving as a consultant, songwriter and former collaborator of Jeff Buckley, Gary Lucas played and rehearsed with Badgley.[17] Badgley performed all his singing scenes live.[18]

Pictures of the set surfaced on August 22, 2011.[19] while the first official images were released on August 14, 2012, with additional ones on August 24, 2012.[20][21]

Algrant explained: "The concert is true – the rest is fictionalized and conjecture. I really tried to be as emotionally honest as I could be, as opposed to having to worry about truth."[12]


Celluloid Dreams obtained the international rights in January 2012.[22] Focus Film and Tribeca acquired the U.S. rights in December 2012.[23]

Greetings from Tim Buckley had its world premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2012.[24] The film was also screened at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 23, 2013[25] and was released in a limited release on May 3, 2013.


Upon its premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, Deborah Young of The Hollywood Reporter said it was a "sensitive, well-cast film about father-son musicians Tim and Jeff Buckley gets the emotions and music just right". Young also praised lead actor Badgley for his "vibrant break-out performance" noting his "seductive energy" and Poots pointing out her "strong screen presence".[26] Rolling Stone was also positive of Badgley's portrayal writing he "does an impressive turn as Jeff."[12] The Globe and Mail placed Greetings from Tim Buckley among their top six favorite movies of the festival.[27] Variety's Dennis Harvey was critical of the narration deeming it "scant". He described Jeff as "a fine illustration of how good, even great art can be made by exasperating personalities that only a groupie (or biographer) could love" and concluded: "The result is at once skillfully observed and a bit so-what."[28]


  1. ^ "Greetings from Tim Buckley (2013)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Penn Badgley To Play Jeff Buckley In 'Greetings From Tim Buckley' Film". The Huffington Post. AOL, Inc. June 20, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2012.
  3. ^ Greetings from Tim Buckley | Tribeca Film
  4. ^ a b c "Tony Winners Norbert Leo Butz and Frank Wood Join Penn Badgley in Greetings from Tim Buckley". August 22, 2011. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  5. ^ Fleming, Mike (July 22, 2011). "'Fright Night's Imogen Poots Takes 'Greetings From Tim Buckley'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  6. ^ Kinos-Goodin, Jesse (September 13, 2012). "Penn Badgley on being Jeff Buckley". National Post. Postmedia Network Inc. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  7. ^ Christine (August 20, 2011). "New Jeff Buckley movie starring Penn Badgley begins filming in Brooklyn on Monday". On Location Vacations. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  8. ^ Christine (September 10, 2011). "Weekend Filming Locations including New Year's Eve, Man of Steel, and Dark Knight Rises". On Location Vacations. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  9. ^ Scales, Claude (August 19, 2011). "Penn Badgley to Walk Among Us Again, This Time as Jeff Buckley". Brooklyn Heights Blog. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  10. ^ Harris, Dana (January 14, 2012). "Penn Badgley Will Play Jeff Buckley -- But It's Not a Biopic". indieWire. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  11. ^ Directo, Denny. "Artist You Should Know: Jann Klose". Entertainment Tonight Online. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  12. ^ a b c Bliss, Karen (September 12, 2012). "Jeff Buckley and Father Tim Portrayed in New Biopic". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  13. ^ DiGiacomo, Franck (April 23, 2013). "INTERVIEW: Penn Badgley − Falling In Love With Zoe Kravitz Sharpened His Portrayal Of Jeff Buckley". Movieline. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  14. ^ Swanson, Carl (April 28, 2013). "Penn Badgley's Mission to Reclaim His Own Celebrity With Greetings From Tim Buckley". Retrieved June 8, 2013.
  15. ^ Bennett, Marcus (June 29, 2011). "Penn Badgley Knows There's Skepticism About His Ability to Play Jeff Buckley". New York. Retrieved January 14, 2012.
  16. ^ Chai, Barbara (April 22, 2013). "How Penn Badgley Inhabited Jeff Buckley". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  17. ^ Dickey, Josh L. (August 22, 2011). "Frank Wood aboard 'Buckley'". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved August 24, 2012. (subscription required)
  18. ^ Hampp, Andrew (April 24, 2013). "Penn Badgley Talks Becoming Jeff Buckley In 'Greetings From Tim Buckley' at Tribeca Premiere". Billboard. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  19. ^ Hawks, Asa (August 22, 2011). "PHOTOS Penn Badgley as Jeff Buckley on 'Greetings from Tim Buckley' set with Imogen Poots". Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  20. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (August 14, 2012). "First Images From 'Greetings From Tim Buckley' Plus Footage Of Penn Badgley Singing "Lilac Wine" Live". IndieWire. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  21. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (August 24, 2012). "New Images From 'Greetings From Tim Buckley' Starring Penn Badgley & Imogen Poots". IndieWire. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  22. ^ "Celluloid Dreams Reps International for "Greetings From Tim Buckley"". indieWire. September 13, 2011. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  23. ^ Smith, Nigel M. (December 10, 2012). "Tribeca Film and Focus World Team for 'Greetings from Tim Buckley' Starring Penn Badgley as Jeff Buckley". IndieWire. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  24. ^ Kurchak, Sarah (August 15, 2012). "TIFF 2012 Adds Greetings From Tim Buckley, Spike Lee's Bad 25 Michael Jackson Doc, Skrillex Soundtrack". Spinner. Aol Inc. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  25. ^ "Greetings from Tim Buckley". Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  26. ^ "Greetings from Tim Buckley: Toronto Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. September 9, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  27. ^ "The Globe's six favourite movies from TIFF". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail Inc. September 11, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
  28. ^ Harvey, Dennis (September 10, 2012). "Toronto Film Fest Reviews - Greetings from Tim Buckley". Variety. Reeds Business Information. Retrieved October 2, 2012.

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