Elliott Smith Torches The Past For Faux Documentary, Preps New Single

After making its premiere at last fall's CMJ Film Fest in New York City, "Strange Parallel," the Elliott Smith pseudo-documentary by Steve Hanft, has now made its way to the small screen -- and is scheduled to turn up on the Independence and Bravo channels over the next few weeks.

In the 28-minute film, Hanft, a veteran director of music videos for Beck and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, follows a fictional camera crew around as it attempts to track down the hard-to-find Smith in-and-around his Portland, Oregon, stomping grounds.

Shot in vignette style, the movie features several surreal scenes, including one in which Smith's hand is replaced by a metal appendage that he needs in order to play certain "heavy metal" riffs. In another quixotic episode, a toy robot torches the lyrics to "Miss Misery," the song from the "Good Will Hunting" soundtrack that was nominated for an Oscar in 1998 -- and which Smith rarely, if ever, plays live anymore.

In a recent interview with MTV,

Smith described shooting the scene where the "Miss Misery" lyrics are flambeed. "[Steve] found this robot that had these guns that came out," Smith said, "and there was a guy behind the counter who would light the lyrics on fire."

"And it'd burn up part of the counter top," he added, "and we'd have to go, 'OK, let's do it again.' Clean off the counter top, then here comes the robot, then burn the lyrics. I don't know, it was kind of fun watching the lyrics burn, though."

According to the singer-songwriter, Hanft has also pieced outtakes from "Strange Parallel" into a video for his next single, "Baby Britain." Smith is currently on tour in support of his current album, "XO," and will play Columbus, Ohio, on Monday night.