More than a decade after the musician’s untimely death, a Jeff Buckley biopic Greetings From Tim Buckley has premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.
The film is centred on the days leading up to a tribute concert to Jeff’s late father, folk music icon Tim Buckley. ‘Greetings From Tim Buckley’ was the name of the real event held in New York City in 1991 and was considered a breakthrough moment in Jeff Buckley’s career.
Important in that it brought the news of folk singer Tim’s estranged son to the New York music community where Jeff learned much of his performance craft and early recognition. The film of the same name instead explores the estranged relationship between father and son.
Director Daniel Algrant told Rolling Stone: “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.”
Judging by the trailer (which you can view above), Algrant’s statement pretty much sums up the film’s tone. Rather than attempting to represent a factual account of the event, the director weaves in a romantic story involving an intern that Buckley meets while preparing for the tribute concert. Enter cheesy moments of wistful stares and flirtatious smiles.
As previously reported during the lead up to the film, Penn Badgley (of Gossip Girl fame) was awarded the leading role. Considering the actor’s popularity amongst the ladies, it is no wonder the flick seemingly takes a turn towards uncharted rom-com territory. No doubt the film will have girls swooning, regardless of whether they are familiar with Jeff Buckley’s musical legacy or not.
Interestingly, The Examiner reports that Greetings From Tim Buckley doesn’t have the rights to use Jeff Buckley’s music, as such, this means that the film about Jeff Buckley doesn’t actually feature any of the singer-songwriter’s music. Only a little bizzare.
Instead, as featured in the trailer, Badgley’s Buckley performs a version of Tim Buckley’s ‘Once I Was’.
Fortunately for the Jeff Buckley fans out there, another biopic is reportedly in the works. Set to be titled Mystery White Boy, the film was allegedly able to score the rights to Buckley’s music.
As reported back in 2011, it is unclear just how much of Buckley’s life will be portrayed in the film; although the producers, which include the late singer’s mother Mary Guibert, have optioned David Browne’s book ‘Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley’ (one of the ‘must-owns’ in your library by our reckoning) which also covers his father’s struggle with drugs and alcohol.
Perhaps it would be best to reserve judgement until the official release of Greetings From Tim Buckley, which is still yet to be confirmed. However, if the film does indeed turn out to be a love-affair of the wrong sort at least fans can live in anticipation of the second silver screen version of the much-loved performer.
Let’s just hope at least one of the two films draws focus to Jeff Buckley’s musical legacy rather than his romantic escapades.