Heaven Adores You

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Heaven Adores You
Heaven Adores You Elliott Smith Poster.jpg
Directed byNickolas Rossi
Produced by
  • Nickolas Rossi
  • JT Gurzi
  • Kevin Moyer
  • Marc Smolowitz
StarringElliott Smith
Music by
  • Elliott Smith (songs)
  • Kevin Moyer (score)
  • Nickolas Rossi
  • JT Gurzi
Edited by
  • Eli Olson
  • Nickolas Rossi
  • Blowback Pictures
  • Heaven Adores You
  • Zoetrope Aubry Prod.
Distributed byEagle Rock Entertainment
Release date
Running time
104 minutes
CountryUnited States

Heaven Adores You is a 2014 documentary about the life and music of indie rock singer-songwriter Elliott Smith (1969-2003). It premiered at the San Francisco International Film Festival on May 5, 2014.[1]


The film focuses on Smith's life in the three cities he lived in during his music career (Portland, New York and Los Angeles),[2] highlighted by his five solo albums from 1994–2000 and his 1998 Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song for "Miss Misery" in Good Will Hunting.[3] It features personal photos, concert footage, and recorded conversations and interviews with Smith, his friends and collaborators.[3] Participants include Smith's sister Ashley, Jon Brion, Larry Crane, Tony Lash, Joanna Bolme, Rob Schnapf, and Kill Rock Stars founder Slim Moon.[3][4][5]

In addition to having at least one song from each of his albums,[6] the track listing contains over a dozen previously unreleased Elliott Smith songs, spanning the length of his career.[2] Heaven Adores You is the first documentary to gain permission to use Smith's music.[4]


Director Nickolas Rossi first became familiar with Smith’s music in the mid-‘90s while living in Portland. He started contemplating making a documentary about him in 2007 after receiving positive response from a short tribute video he shot at the Figure 8 wall, following Smith’s death in 2003.[7]

In the fall of 2009, fellow filmmaker Jeremiah Gurzi teamed up with Rossi and in January, 2010 they traveled to Portland. In 2011, a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign was launched to raise awareness of the film and to help supplement the initial funds needed to officially start the project.[8] Following the successful launch, they received an email from Kevin Moyer, who attended the same high school as Smith, offering to help. Moyer came on as a producer and music supervisor, and arranged many of the interviews.[9] A majority of the shooting took place in 2012. By the fall of 2013 longtime colleague and multi-award winning veteran producer Marc Smolowitz officially joined the team, helping steward the project through post-production and to a prominently placed world premiere at the 57th San Francisco International Film Festival.[10] After a year-long global festival run, the film was acquired by Eagle Rock Entertainment for worldwide distribution in the summer of 2015.[11]


The San Francisco Bay Guardian described the film as "an artfully crafted study of a unique talent."[12] Way Too Indie called it "a tasteful, haunting portrait,"[7] while Ground Control magazine praised it as "a celebration of the fullness of the life [Smith] lived."[13]

Soundtrack track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Elliott Smith[14].

1."Untitled Guitar Finger Picking [1983]"1:24
2."Untitled Melancholy Song [1993]"3:42
3."Don't Call Me Billy [early version of "Fear City"] [1993]"4:12
4."Christian Brothers [performed with Heatmiser] [1995]"5:01
5."Hamburgers [performed with Neil Gust] [1995]"4:06
6."Plainclothes Man [Elliott solo version] [1996]"3:43
7."Unknown Song (instrumental) [1994]"3:21
8."Say Yes [live at Yo Yo Festival 1997] [1997]"2:51
9."Unknown (instrumental) [1994]"3:51
10."Coast to Coast [early version] [1995-96]"4:41
11."Waltz #1 (demo) [1997]"3:01
12."Untitled Soft Song in F [1993]"4:35
13."True Love [2001]"5:24
14."Miss Misery [live on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien"] [1998]"3:22
15."L.A. [1999]"3:15
16."Son of Sam (acoustic) [1999]"3:05
17."The Last Hour [early version] [1999]"3:39
18."Everything Means Nothing to Me [1999]"2:23
19."Happiness (single version) [1999]"5:15
20."I Love My Room [1984-85]"5:22


  1. ^ Jonathan Kiefer and Sherilyn Connelly, “No No Is a Good Thing: Your Guide to Navigating This Year’s San Francisco International Film Festival,” SF Weekly, April 23, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Miriam Coleman, “Elliott Smith Documentary Unearths New Unreleased Songs,” Rolling Stone, May 24, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Josh Terry, “Elliott Smith documentary Heaven Adores You to feature unreleased music, photos,” Consequence of Sound, April 1, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Evan Minsker, “Elliott Smith Film Heaven Adores You Teaser Released,” Pitchfork Media, April 30, 2014.
  5. ^ Erik Adams, "Watch the trailer for the Elliott Smith documentary Heaven Adores You", The A.V. Club, May 1, 2014.
  6. ^ Katie Rose Quandt, “Elliott Smith: ‘It’s Just, I Like Music, You Know’,” Mother Jones, May 12, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Bernard Boo, “Nickolas Rossi On Honoring the Musical Legacy of Elliott Smith,” Way Too Indie, May 14, 2014.
  8. ^ Dan Reilly, “Elliott Smith Film to Include New Songs, Unseen Footage,” Spin, April 1, 2014.
  9. ^ Logan Lynn, “Heaven Adores You, Elliott Smith: An Interview with Filmmakers Nickolas Dylan Rossi and Kevin Moyer” Huffington Post , September 2, 2014.
  10. ^ Evan Minsker, “Elliott Smith Film Heaven Adores You to Feature Unheard Music, Lost Footage, Interviews With Collaborators Premiering at the San Francisco International Film Festival” Pitchfork Media, April 1, 2014.
  11. ^ Eagle Rock Press Release, “Eagle Rock Entertainment Acquires Worldwide Rights to Elliott Smith Documentary “Heaven Adores You” -- Partners with SpectiCast on Global Theatrical Release, beginning May 7th, 2015,” SpectiCast, March 24, 2015.
  12. ^ Cheryl Eddy, “Reel-ality,” San Francisco Bay Guardian, April 22, 2014.
  13. ^ Daryl Barnett, “Reviews: Elliott Smith – Film,” Ground Control, May 16, 2014.
  14. ^ Johnny Firecloud, "Elliott Smith ‘Heaven Adores You’: The Untold Stories & Photos Behind The Songs," CraveOnline, August 6, 2015.

External links[edit]